Back in March, Total Futbol Academy – San Fernando Valley coach Sergio Jimenez and his boys were losing sleep over the Cal South State Cup President’s Division 13U Championship match. However, the boys woke up on Sunday, March 5th, arrived in Temecula’s Galway Downs, and came out strong with a convincing 4-0 win over Celtic 1888, unaware that they had just clinched a spot in US Youth Soccer’s Region IV Presidents Cup tournament to take place in Salt Lake City.
“In that championship, I cried with the boys,” Coach Jimenez said. “To this moment, I remember it and tears go into my eyes because I know how hard they worked for that.”
Once TFA-SFV had clinched their spot onto Regionals, coach Jimenez had to figure out a way to motivate the boys. He turned to Cal South’s YouTube page to find inspiration and came along 2016 US Youth Soccer’s National President Cup Champions Coachella’s own La Laja team, a young team who dealt with a wide range of obstacles, but nevertheless, claimed the top spot.
“We saw last year, La Laja win it, and I showed the video to them that [Cal South] made last year and I told them, ‘Look boys, hopefully one day we’ll get there,’” he said. “Luckily, it was our year; we made it happen.”
Travelling to Salt Lake City for the Region IV Presidents Cup and facing the top talent in from Montana, Alaska, Colorado, Northern California, Idaho and Nevada was going to be a tough obstacle for some players, especially those who were travelling outside of the state for the first time. Coach Jimenez trained the boys hard during the hot summer days, without a single complaint from his players. The boys went on to sweep through the tournament, winning every single game, scoring 31 goals and only taking in two.
The squad went off to National Presidents Cup in Auburndale, Fla., to convince the youth soccer world what a team from San Fernando Valley was all about. With no goals against and 13 in favor, TFA-SFV topped US Youth Soccer’s National Presidents Cup 13UB Championship.
Team captain and National Presidents Cup MVP Luis Lima bared and went through the preparations for all three tournaments, and pointed out the hard work and dedication the entire team put in order to earn the coveted trophy.
“To get there, the team had to work really hard, sweat in training, a lot of players did get hurt through the process, but they came back stronger,” he said. “We were able to pull it off, and win and put all our heart through the game.”
As the 2017-18 Season underway, TFA SFV will be looking to continue their success through the Southern California Region as they look to qualify to participate in Cal South’s National Cup, as well as earn their berth to Far West Regionals and National Championships.
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