Posted On August 25, 2015 by PUSC
by Steven Wilson, Press Tribune Sports Editor
August, 2015—The host teams were celebrating left and right at Placer United’s Juniors Cup hosted at Del Oro High School Aug. 8-9 as nearly all of their teams brought home hardware.
Out of the eight age groups, ranging from U8-U11 for both boys and girls, Placer United won every bracket except the two U8 competitions. The U9 girls final even included both the Placer United Gold and Black teams — a matchup that the Gold squad won 3-2 in a back-and-forth final.
Among the star teams for Roseville’s closest competitive soccer teams were the U10 Boys Gold, who erupted for five goals in the second half after going into halftime of the final deadlocked in a 1-1 tie with Santa Rosa United Boca. Placer United’s team scored three times in the opening ten minutes of the second stanza and coasted to a 6-1 victory to claim the championship.
The team’s coach, Chris Hall, was complimentary of the progress his team made over the course of a weekend. Hall also noted that tournaments like the Juniors Cup can be the earliest exposures to competitive soccer for his team.
“Tournaments help with player development because (you play) a lot of games close together, so all of the players get a lot of playing time,” said Hall, who walked around and congratulated all of his players individually during the celebration.
In the time leading up to the tournament, which was sponsored by Adidas, Placer United worked to ensure a high quality of play by searching for opposing teams that push their players to improve and adapt.
“This tournament in particular is very competitive,” Hall proclaimed. “With just the top teams in the area, the level of competition is extremely high. “The players love it. All they want is to compete with the best teams.”
Placer United, as a club, must have been very pleased with how the weekend went, as their youth tournament drew teams from some of the best clubs in Sacramento, including Sac United, FC Elk Grove, and San Juan among others.
The stacked level of competitive provided for entertaining results.
“The players bond more when they have to work harder or play more games in a stressful tournament,” Hall explained. “In the long term you see the development of the team as a whole and of the individuals on the side of skills and tactics.”
These are exactly the results that Placer United was looking for before hosting a tournament strictly for their younger age groups, focusing on player development, but of course six first place trophies were a nice reward too.