Monday, July 2, 2012

Missoula Strikers, Magic City lead Montana contingent at USCS Regionals in Seattle

Missoula Strikers captured the U19B Super Group Championship
Five Montana clubs sent a dozen teams to the US Club Soccer Northwest Regional tournament June 23-26 in Seattle, and managed to bring back one regional championship trophy and a trip to the national finals. The contingent was led by six entries from Magic City SC with a half-dozen and three from Missoula Strikers while Flathead Soccer Camp, FC Bozeman and FC Missoula sent one team each.


You would think with only one win in group play among its three representatives that the club would have been disappointed with the trip. Instead, the club’s oldest entry captured the U19B Super Group championship.

Finishing second overall in the six-team event by going 1-0-2 in cross-group play, the Strikers’ U18 side advanced with group-mate Deportivo Salinas, who defeated all three of the other group’s teams. Missoula opened with a 4-1 victory against XiFA (Spokane, WA) before playing to a pair of 2-2 draws against Westside Metro (Beaverton, OR) and Washington East Soccer Club (Spokane, WA). Deportivo Salinas (California) blanked WE SC, 3-0, and XiFA, 2-0, before edging WSM, 2-1.

In the championship, the Strikers jumped to a two-goal advantage just five minutes into the match and held on for a 5-2 victory.

“Standouts for us were many - this was really a team success,” said coach Geoffrey Birnbaum.

Casey Higgins led the team in scoring with a tally in every game while Manuel Terrazas finished with three, including two in the final.

“In the midfield we were buoyed by all of our centers, but maybe most by Kellen McNamara and Steen Shober. Charlie Sheen at outside back was a bundle of energy and always dangerous getting forward. Our two centerbacks Kiran Hubbard and Mason Bowditch were stellar.”

The club’s two other entries in the U14B Super and U16B Premier groups finished without a point, though the U16 side came close with a pair of one-goal decisions.

MAGIC CITY SC – Billings, MT

Four of the club’s six entries managed to finish second in their groups, two of them coming close to advancing.

The U15G Premier entry finished 1-1-1 in their group, missing out on the semifinal wild card spot via tiebreakers. In cross-group play they opened with a 1-1 draw against Legacy Nationals (North Sound Soccer) before losing, 5-0, to eventual finalist Central Washington Soccer Academy (Selah, WA). They bounced back with a 2-1 victory against FC Alliance.

The U13G Premier side finished just one point shy of advancing to the semifinals by going 2-1-0. They kicked things off with a 2-0 victory against the Puget Sound Slammers (Lacey, WA) before falling short in a narrow 1-0 decision against the eventual champion Pacific FC (Vancouver, WA). They wrapped things up with a 1-0 victory against the Spokane Shadow.

On the boys side, the U16B Premier entry finished unbeaten with a 1-0-2 record and were the lone team to score more than one goal against eventual champion Vancouver United (WA), playing to a 3-3 draw in the opening match. They then played the Coeur d’Alene Sting to a 1-1 draw in the second magic before getting a 2-0 victory against Washington Crossfire as they finished second in the group.

The club’s three other teams at the tournament were the U13B Premier (1-2-0, second of three in group), U14B Premier (0-3-0, third of three via tiebreaker) and U14G Premier (0-3-0, fourth of four).


The club’s lone entrant finished first in the U14G Premier group at the tournament, advancing to the semifinals with a 2-0-1 record. In cross-group play, they drubbed Tynecastle (Everett, WA), 7-0, to start things off before playing to a scoreless draw against Cook Inlet Soccer Club (Anchorage, AK) in the second match. They edged, Mt  Rainier FC (Sumner, WA), 1-0, to finish first. FC Missoula was eliminated, 3-1, in the semifinals by the Spokane Foxes, who finished second in their group with a 2-1-0 record and ultimately fell to Washington Crossfire (Redmond, WA), who finished second in Missoula’s group, in the championship.


The U13G Premier side got off to a rough start with a 4-1 loss to South Side (Oregon Premier League) but bounced back with a scoreless draw in the second match against Fuerza FC Academy (Bothell, WA). They fell, 3-0, in the final match to group-winner Federal Way United SC (WA).


Things started off well for the U19B Super group entry as they downed Westside Metro, 2-1, in the opening match in cross-group play. They fell 3-1 in the next contest to Washington East SC, and were narrowly defeated, 3-2, by XiFA SC in the final match, finishing third in their group behind fellow Montana entry Missoula Strikers.

For more information: USCS Tournament Page