|Zayn Akbik, Rudy Bieglmeier, Mateo Blair, Jonathan Chavez, Isaac Diop, Noah Dolan, Theodore Dove, Deniz Gundogdu, Simon Jillson, Niko Kapetan, Jonathan Meneses, Luis Molina, Nathan Pollack, Zachary Rogers, Reed Schaefer, Colin Thompson, Aidan Tobin; Coach: Issac Moushi
After impressive runs through the Illinois Presidents Cup & Midwest Presidents Cup, Team Evanston Premier finalized their post-season adventure by winning the Under-14 Boys US Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup, bringing a national championship back to Evanston.
“It's a great feeling to be National Champions,” Issac Moushi, Team Evanston Head Coach said. “The players did not know what to expect, however once the ball rolled they blocked the nature of the competition and played the game the way they have been trained. “
Team Evanston took home the U-14 Boys title after defeating Montgomery Arsenal from Eastern Pennsylvania in a match that went all the way to kicks from the mark after regulation and overtime ended 0-0. These two teams had met in the opening match of the tournament, which also resulted in a 0-0 draw.
“We played Montgomery in the first game of the competition and we created chances however their goalkeeper was always at the correct position collecting every shot we took and the final was no different as he played well again,” said Moushi. “The Arsenal players were bigger and very aggressive. We kept possession and we were trying to link our passes to get to their attacking third and we came up without scoring again and again. I did have a good feeling regarding PK's. As a coach I don't like it when we get to penalty kicks, however I had confidence in my players.”
Although Montgomery’s Vincent Scialla was awarded the Best Goalie honor as the top U14 goalkeeper at the tournament, it was Evanston’s 6’2” keeper Simon Jillson that stood out in the PK shootout. And it was for more than just his size.
“Simone was a key in the PK's,” Moushi said. “He intimidated their players and was moving on his line to confuse the shooters. Forced them to miss the goal twice and stopped the fourth shooter. He was great throughout the tournament.”
While Jillson handled the Montgomery shooters, Team Evanston’s Nathan Pollack, Deniz Gundogdu and Jonathan Meneses each converted their attempt clinch the National title 3-1 on PK’s.
“It was an all team effort,” said Moushi. “I thought the entire defending line played well, Mateo Blair and Isaac Diop were key players in midfield. Jonathan Meneses created many chances and also scored the only goal to win our third game that put us in the championship game.”
Although it was an entire team effort, Meneses did earn recognition for his individual efforts, winning the tournament ‘s U14 Boys MVP Award.
SASA finishes as National Finalists
Caleb Cheung, Devin Compton, Mitch Curry, Blake Dannehold, Nicolas Farris, Eric Heumann, Elias Hopkins, Grant Meckes,
Derek Miller, Zachary Mizera, Alec Paoni, Vincent Raby, Luke Reiser, Ty Rogers, Colin Sprague, Collin Tierney, AJ Underwood,
Tyler Vogel, Mark Wilson; Coach: James Paoni
In a rematch of the final group play match SASA Spirits looked to avenge their only loss of the tournament against LV Neon from Nevada. Unfortunately scores in the 27th and 83rd minute would secure the win for the Nevada squad.
Ty Rogers was awarded the U17 Boys MVP for his impressive play throughout the tournament