By Miguel A. Cortez (Assistant Coach- Tustin United B18)
On November 26-28th , 2010 teams from across the country descended in the San Diego, California area to participate in a premier college showcase, Surf College Cup .
Most major clubs had teams representing them and Tustin United Club had its Boys under 18 (BU18) . It was our first experience as a team at the surf college cup.
We knew competition was going to be tough but our team was ready. Our head coach, Paul Caligiuri former USMNT player and veteran of two world cups, knew how to prepare the team.
Our first game was decisively won by Tustin United B18 and we earned the max points for a match. We did not allow one goal. Our second game was also a hard fought game but at the end we ended up on top and pulled a convincing victory, also earning max points for the match. Our third game was held in the afternoon on Saturday and we won as well but did not get the third goal we needed in order to obtain max points. We ended up with 29 points out of a possible 30, and did not allow one goal in pool play.
We advanced to the semifinals on Sunday and ended up playing a team that we have had multiple games against in either our regular season , league cup or national cup and we knew we had to play our best game yet in order to advanced to the finals.
Our team came together and we beat them 2-0 and advanced to the Championship game against a very good team from Idaho.
The Championship game took place in the early afternoon and we fought hard but at the end we lost to a better team and we tasted defeat for the first time at the Surf Cup.
The experience of participating at the surf cup is like no other one. We faced teams from Georgia, Washington, California and Idaho.
Most of our players are graduating in the summer of 2011 and looking to continue playing soccer at the college level, and with lots of college coaches on the sidelines, we couldn’t have chosen a better tournament that the Surf College Cup to show our talent. With so many teams and so many good players, is hard for a College Coach to get to know everybody ,so a tournament of this caliber, makes it easy for the college scouts to have a list of those players that they want to watch and while there ,may catch a game that was not on their schedule and discover a player or two that they were not aware of.
There were contacts made by college coaches and our players at Tustin United and we only hope that one day we will be seeing these talented young players helping a college at division I , Division II or division III reach their dreams and make it to the championship games in their respective divisions.
We, at Tustin United, recommend this tournament to those teams that know that they have the talent but haven’t had a chance to prove it on major tournament as Surf Cup attended by hundreds of college coaches.
You have to dream big, to make it big.