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Rebels with a cause: kickers take aim at national championship Phillip Brents | Fri, Jun 16 2017 03:49 PM

Two teams from the Rebels Soccer Club have qualified to compete in the 2017 United States Youth Soccer Region IV West championship tournament.

The Rebels SC 01 Elite girls and SC 04 Elite boys teams will test their talent at the Far West Regional event beginning Monday, June 19, and ending Sunday, June 25, in Redmond, Wash.

The Rebels join several other teams from the San Diego region at the upcoming Far West Regionals. Among them are the Oceanside Breakers 98 Black in the boys group and SD Surf Academy 2004, San Diego SC 03 Academy Navy, LAGSD 01 Elite Drummond, LAGSD 03 Elite-Higham and the DMCV Sharks 99-Nastic in the girls group.

The teams qualified for the elite regional event after winning division titles at the recent California South state championships or through Far West Regional League qualifiers. Wild card teams also were included to round out the playing field.

Rebels Soccer Club President Steve Contreras said the Rebels’ participation in the regional event is part of the program’s recent growth in terms of stature.

“Our club has really grown, not only in numbers but also in skill level,” Contreras explained. “We’re right up there with other elite teams. It’s not only happened with our boys teams but our girls teams as well.

“Our players are receiving college scholarships — both boys and girls.”

The Rebels Soccer Club has experienced an almost exponential growth. Six years ago, the club consisted of 12 teams. Now there are 82 teams.

Ryan Marquez is directing the Rebels SC 01 Elite girls team heading to Washington. The team is comprised of girls born in 2001.

Team members include Alejandra Jaramillo, Angelina Espinal, Aolani Chin, Ariana Hernandez, Brooke Flores, Brooklyn Hawkins, Emma Gaines-Ramos, Erin Healy, Gianna Creighton, Hannah Cromer, Hannah Uribe, Jordan Norman, Kiera Smeenge, Krista Eberle, Madison Rust, Nina Miller, Olivia Sekimoto and Taylor Summit.

Marquez, who also serves as head coach of the girls program at Bonita Vista High School, said the core group of the team has been playing together for the past five to six years.

“It’s a great group of kids and a great group of families involved,” Marquez said. “We play a certain style, a possession style, everyone on the team, including some of the newer kids, have bought into the system. It’s a hungry group.”

The team qualified for the upcoming regional tournament by winning its bracket in the Cal South Regional League as well as winning its division in the National Cup tournament, inclusive of all Cal-South teams.

The Rebels won all seven of their games in the National Cup without allowing a goal. The Rebels defeated the South Slammers FC 01 by a score of 3-0 in the final held May 21.

The Rebels defeated LAGSD 01 Elite Drummond, 2-0, in the semifinals after topping CDA Slammers FC HB Academy, 1-0, in the quarterfinals.

The Rebels kicked off the elimination playoffs with a 2-0 victory against LA Galaxy OC 2001 in the Round of 16.
The Rebels outscored their competition 19-0 in the seven games.

Marquez is obviously impressed by the team’s showing. He expects the team to do well in the upcoming tournament that will take place in a 60-acre complex in metropolitan Seattle.

“We don’t have an easy bracket but none of these types of tournaments are necessarily easy,” the Rebels coach explained. “We face a top team from Honolulu (HSC Bulls Academy), the second-ranked team in Washington (PacNW 01 Maroon) and the No. 1 team from New Mexico (Rio Rapids). It’s a tight group. But we’re going in prepared. We’ve played well in qualifying.”

And Marquez knows what to expect.

The 01 Elite team follows in the footsteps of the Rebels 00 team that finished runner-up in last year’s Far West Regional.
The team finished 5-1 in the tournament.

The Rebels’ G15U Elite team’s tournament experience came to an end following a 3-1 loss to the FC Salmon Creek Nemesis (Ore.) in last year’s finals. The Rebels notched five victories on their way to the championship game. The finals run included wins over four State Cup champions.

The Rebels defeated the Oceanside Breakers (Cal South National Cup champions) by a score of 2-1, the Broom Blast Prestige (Colorado State Cup champions) by a score of 3-2, the Heat FC (Nevada) by a score of 7-0, the LVASP 01 Red (Nevada State Cup champions) by a score of 2-0 (quarterfinals) and the Scottsdale Blackhawks (Arizona State Cup champions) by a score of 2-1 (semifinals).

Jacqueline Barrientos scored in the 61st minute in the championship game to make a dent in a 3-0 lead by the Oregon team.

The Rebels’ Scarlett Cambreros led all goal-scorers in the tournament with eight goals.

“It was a great group of kids to take to the tournament,” Marquez said.

The Rebels 04 Elite boys team is coached by Brian Hiatt-Aleu, who also serves as coach of the men’s program at Cuyamaca College. 

The Rebels 13U boys team qualified for the Region IV tournament as CRL-South Division champions.

Team members include Alejandro Ahuage, Gerardo Ambriz, Francisco Castrejon-Barrientos, Chase Cortes, Aidan Gonzalez, Bryan Hernandez, Elijah Hernandez, Gerardo Huerta, Weckmann Hugo, Luca Jarquin, Hector Lua, Miguel Ortega, Jeremy Osorio, Daniel Pena, Terren Reyes, Carlos Romero, Evan Rotundo and Miguel Torres.

Hiatt-Aleu called the Rebels 04 Elite boys team a team that is “very advanced in their technical development.”
“We are comfortable on the ball and try to posses it as much as possible,” Hiatt-Aleu said. “At this point we are really focusing on our tactical shape and becoming more aggressive in winning the ball back in a shorter period of time.

“We are a team that likes to control the tempo by quick passing and creating options off the ball in all directions.”

The Rebels’ group round opponents include El Camino FC United 04 (Cal-North), Crossfire 04 (Yakima, Wash.) and the Guadalajara Scorpions (New Mexico).

Game on
The Region IV championships feature top teams in the 13U through 19/20U age groups. The two Rebels teams will be among the more than 230 top boys and girls teams from the 14 U.S. Youth Soccer state associations competing for a regional title.

The tournament will begin with group play games Monday, June 19, through Wednesday, June 21. Following a rest day, quarterfinal matches will be played on Friday, June 23, with semifinals on Saturday, June 24. The Region IV champions will be crowned on Sunday, June 25.

State associations, besides host Washington, represented at the Region IV championships include Alaska, Arizona, California North, California South, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.



More than 10,000 teams began their journey at the state championship level and more than 900 teams will be competing in four regional tournaments. Regional winners earn a berth in the U.S. Youth Soccer national championships July 24-30 at the Toyota Soccer Center in Frisco, Texas.

The U.S. Youth Soccer national championship series provides more than 185,000 players from 55 state associations the opportunity to showcase their soccer skills against the best competition in the nation, while emphasizing teamwork, discipline and fair play.

For complete game scores, stories, standings, video and more from the regional and national finals, visit the websites at http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org and http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org/Region IV.

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