Over the weekend the Iowa Rush had seven teams participate in the Club Champions Cup in Ankeny, IA. It was a beautiful weekend of soccer and a great way to kick off the start of the 2015/2016 season for many of our teams.
Director of Coaching, Greg Hennelly, was excited about the start of the season, "It is always great to have our players participate in an early tournament before the start of the actual fall Season. This tournament allows our teams to get a few games under our belt and focus on areas the teams will need to continue to improve on for the season ahead. In this case, our players proved they are ready for the start of the season with some very good results from all of our teams!" The Iowa Rush had three teams crowned tournament Champions with three other teams finishing the weekend as Finalists.
The U11 Boys Rush team, participating in their first tournament as a Select team, was able to come away with an undefeated first showing, winning each of their group stage games and finishing with a solid win in the Championship Game. Director of Coaching for the Select-Boys and head coach Nuno Ferreira explained "This was a great weekend to show the boys what the Select program is all about. They were put into a new environment that many are not yet used to, and they adapted and responded very well. This group of players' energy, enthusiasm, and passion for the game is going to make this a fun team to continue to watch develop both as individuals and a team". Ferreira went on to explain " We saw some very good glimpses of soccer out of this young group and have a good idea of the areas we will focus on for the season ahead. This was an great start for such a young team!" Congratulations to the U11 Boys Rush team on a great start to their long soccer careers with the Iowa Rush!
The U12 Boys Rush were also able to come away with the Tournament Championship after finishing their campaign undefeated as well. "This team is continuing to develop and come together very well as a team" stated Hennelly; "we definitely have areas we need to continue to work on but the development and improvement has been exciting to watch". The boys championship game was a thriller for all who were in attendance. After going down twice in the game, the boys were able to respond and send the game into penalties to decide the Champion of the tournament. After both teams made their first 13 penalties, the Iowa Rush had the opportunity to step up and take the win after the opposition missed their 14th attempt. The U12 Boys Rush were able to place their 14th kick calmly in the back of the net to secure the Championship! Well done to the boys.
The U18 Girls Nero also finished the tournament as Champions. Aaron Ruff, head coach, was very pleased with the way the girls have been coming along and executing their game plan. Ruff mentioned "We have a solid group of players on this team who love the game and want to work for one another to reach the goals we have set as a team. We have great training sessions leading up to this event and the girls stepped up to the challenge and were able to come away with a very well deserved result". Ruff went on to explain, " We always have a lot to work on, but seeing our training sessions and ideas show up in competitive games is a step in the direction we want to be going". Congratulations to the girls on a well deserved Championship!
The Iowa Rush U13 Boys Rush, U14 Girls Rush, and U17 Boys Rush all made it to the Championship game of the tournament as well. These three teams finished the tournament as finalists after some very well fought final matches.
The U13 Boys Rush, playing in a U13/14 bracket, showed great composure and progress throughout the entire weekend. They started off the Tournament with two great wins on Saturday with very good group defending and attacking soccer. "We were able to score some great goals off of both individual play, as well as some great combination soccer" stated Jeff Adamiak, Director of Coaching for the Select-Nero Program. "The boys ideas that we have been working on throughout the past season are really beginning to show up now that they are on the bigger field. It is great to see the boys implementing the ideas and tactical side of training into their game in some very competitive environments". This was a great weekend for the boys and we are excited to see what the season has in store for them this year!
The U14 Girls Rush participated in a round robin, winning 3 of their 4 games which landed them in 2nd place at the conclusion of the tournament. Head coach and General Manager Candice Fabry was proud of the girls work rate by mentioning " The girls came ready to play this weekend and kicked off the season in the right direction. We were able to implement some new playing styles and work on the topics we have been focusing on in training which is always great to see as a coach". We are looking forward to a great season as this team will be starting their MRL campaign in the next few weeks. Well done to the U14 Girls Rush team!
The U17 Boys Rush team finished the tournament as Finalists after falling short in penalties of the Championship game. "The improvement we saw from game one of the tournament to game four was tremendous" stated head coach and Executive Director Paul Fabry. "We continued to work on our tactical approach and individual toughness throughout the weekend. Seeing the boys competitiveness grow from game to game helped us reach the final game which is where we needed to be". The boys are more focused now and very excited about the start of the ISL season. Well done to the U17 Boys Rush Team and all the best with the season ahead.
The U14 Boys Rush were up to a challenge playing in a very competitive division with some very good team. The boys started off the weekend with a loss, but were able to improve throughout the individual game which already shows great promise for this young group of players. As the weekend went on, the boys continued to face some very strong competition and ended up with an 0-3 record to complete the weekend. Head Coach Andrew Rohwer describes the weekend " This was a great start to the season for our team. Although we were unable to get the results everyone would like, we have to look at the bigger picture and pick out the areas that we were able to improve on from game to game. As we move into the season, we can use this pre season like tournament to continue to help with areas our team will need to focus on most for the season". The U14 Boys Rush are looking forward to the start of their ISL season that kicks off very soon.
The U14/15 Girls Nero team had a great showing going 2-2 in a round robin bracket. "We had some very tough competition this weekend and the girls stepped up big time" stated Adamiak. The girls showed great composure and the willingess to compete in each and every game. Adamiak went on to mention "An early tournament like this one helps us really fine tune the areas we need to focus on as both individual players as well as areas the team as a whole needs to improve on. We had some great glimpses of combination play and some very good goals this weekend, however, we always need to be improving". These girls are ready for the fall ISL season and we are excited to see what lies ahead.
The Iowa Rush will continue training this week as they focus on the start of the regular season this coming weekend for many of our teams.