This past weekend saw the National Rush Select 11 program participate against some of the best teams from across the country in the President’s Day Tournament (PDT) in Phoenix, AZ. The Rush Select program is run through Rush SPI, select teams are formed that are comprised of the top Rush players from across the country at the U13-U17 age groups. These teams attend various events on a yearly basis. The players for these teams are selected from player pools that are established through club recommendations and identification at the Rush Festival and the Select ID Camps. Players can move in and out of the player pool based on their current form and Select National Team coaches have the final say in which players make the roster for any particular event. For more information on Rush Select please click here to visit the Rush Select Homepage.
In Phoenix Iowa Rush had a number of player representatives who took part in the PDT Tournament as part of the Rush Select National Teams. The Rush Select U15 Boys were able to secure a “three-peat” as Champions by beating FC Dallas in the finals 3-0. Iowa representatives, Kenan Smaljovic and Fred Frimpong were both a part of the success of the U15 boys. Kenan scored on a header and was involved in various other opportunities in front of goal. Freddy played in the back helping the team go undefeated while conceding only 2 goals through 6 games and 4 clean sheets.
The National Rush Select U 17 team which included six Iowa Rush players – Abby Rocha, Emily Feltes, Haley Kerns, Rachel McCloskey, Mady Gutknecht, and Aubree Larson – also finished strong, making it to the semi-finals before losing 2-1 to the Windy City Pride out of Illinois. Larson, Rocha, and McCloskey accounted for 3 of the 5 goals scored during the 4 games played. The highlight came in the quarterfinal matchup with a tough Sparta United team out of Utah. Both Sparta and Rush Select were able to keep clean sheets with the game ending in a 0-0 tie. Rush Select then finished them off with a tense PK Shootout where Feltes, Larson, and McCloskey all scored.
While the U16 girls failed to advance to quarterfinals, they got better with every game. Their first game was a tough match up against the current Washington State champions East Side FC Red and they came up just short losing 1-0. They then went onto tie last year’s state finalist in Arizona TSA Girls red 1-1. In the final game they beat Windy City FC 3-0 to finish with 4 points coming up just short, finishing second in their group. Caroline Buelt and Chloe Couves represented the Iowa Rush well, as they were both heavily involved in their games with Buelt getting a nomination for Player of the Day.
The U13 girls from Iowa, Chloe Kooker and Emily Fontana, helped their team go undefeated through preliminary play before losing in the quarters to a very good Arsenal Colorado team 2-1. Kooker anchored the backline at center-back helping the team post 2 shut-outs and only conceding 3 goals through the 4 games, while Fontana made an impact up front by being dangerous in each game and getting her team on the scoreboard.
In the end, the event was a great experience and opportunity for all to play at a higher level and meet different Rush players and coaches. Great job, Rush Select and Iowa Rush!!
If you would like to see the complete results of the PDT event click here.