ALBION BOYS U-19 WIN NATIONAL CUP TITLE
The Albion SC Boys U-19 Premier Elite team has won Cal South’s National Cup championship and earned a trip to US Youth Soccer’s Region IV Championship in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Albion boys beat Santa Barbara SC 3-2 on Sunday, June 13, in the championship game at the Blast Complex in San Bernardino to culminate a three-week- long march to the title. The boys played six games over three weekends against some of the best teams in Southern California in conditions that frequently pushed temperatures into the 90s.
Two thrilling overtime games led up to the final with Albion beating a San Diego Surf team loaded with Division 1 college players 3-1 and then besting Orange County Rage, with former San Diego County player of the year Jose Altamirano 5-3 in penalty kicks after a 2-2 overtime tie.The Albion team is composed mainly of high school players but also included collegians Nick Shackelford of Cal, Josh Borjaof Chico State and Brian Angel of Sonoma State. The coach is Brian Bates, a former MLS player and a member of three Virginia NCAA championship teams under Bruce Arena.Coach Brian Bates says “To end with a CalSouth State Championship is a tremendous accomplishment for a group that has largely been together for the past 5 years. This team has consistently garnered results and to complete most of the boys’ high school careers w/the top award in Southern California is truly remarkable. The boys played with great style, composure, and heart defeating several college all-star teams essentially on the way. The Albion boys showed that they are a team that can compete w/anyone, anywhere. I have long believed that the boys that comprise this team are capable of playing at the next level at some of the top schools in the county. To beat teams such as San Diego Surf and Orange County Rage with a group largely comprised of high school seniors, just confirms this. I am extremely proud of this group and look forward to competing at the next level (regionals).”
Albion, which plays in the San Diego Presidio League, has long been one of the top teams in the league as it moved through several age groups, winning one Presidio title and finishing second several times.
The team included:
FORWARDS: Francisco Contreras, Alan Ampudia and Andrew Sauls.
MIDFIELDERS: Johnny Zurita, Sean Callahan, Jiovan de la Torre, Pedro Morales, Pedro Contreras, Jonathan Selzer and Bruno Da Matta.
DEFENDERS: Josh Borja, Brian Angel, Edgar Flores, Andres Ramirez, Jose Torres and Ryley Webb.
Francisco Contreras, Pedro Contreras, Andrew Sauls, Josh Borja, Sean Callahan and Edgar Flores all have been all-league players during their high school careers and this year Sean Callahan was selected to the San Diego CIF All-County second team.
“This team has been one of the top boys’ premier teams out of San Diego for several years and has won many games and championships over the years but this title was the main goal and objective of this team over all the years and it comes in great fashion,” said Noah Gins, Albion SC director of coaching.