Congratulations to the U17 West Coast FC who has done a great job at this Surf Cup, winning first place in the Super Cup.
Definitely one of the key players in the final couple of games was goalkeeper Blake Bunce. Both the quarterfinals and semifinals went to PK shootout and Blake was fortunate to come out strong and decisive as he saved 2 shots in each shootout, taking his team to the final. As he said, these two games were the most exciting parts of the tournament for him.
[quote_box_center]“PKs are my strongest point, so I kind of like them”[/quote_box_center]
According to Blake, FC Dallas was their toughest opponent in the tournament, which they faced in the semifinal and won in PKs.
Since they have two goalies on the team, before every game Blake said they go through a regular routine and shoot on each other to prepare for the game.
When asked if he is planning to play collegiate soccer, Blake said he is looking at Cal Poly Pomona, as he is exchanging emails with the coaches and was already invited to the camps.
Surprisingly this was Blake’s first Surf Cup ever and he already finished up champion!
U17 West Coast FC Head Coach, Brian Wallis, has been to Surf Cup more than 10 times, has been in the final pretty much every time and won it 8 times including this one. Coach Wallis says he tries to have the team play continental football, keeping the ball as much as possible, doing combination plays, quick touches and being more technical.
He coaches different age groups for West Coast FC and he was actually at a different club before, but he usually specializes in the older teams because his goal is to help players that are transitioning to college.
They do a couple of different things to prepare for tournaments like this. On the field, they train 3 times a week, they prepare physically, tactically and technically, but off the field, the work is mainly done on the computers through email. He created a questionnaire for the players a year before this event asking questions that range from where do they want to study, do you prefer to go out of state or stay in state, etc.
[quote_box_center]“We always try to emphasize to our players that they choose a university that they would be content regardless of soccer.” [/quote_box_center]
They also ask players to email coaches themselves, reach out to them and stay in touch with them, sending their schedule and inviting the coaches to watch them play.
There is also a college prep program that they have with a workshop that teaches players how to make phone calls, send emails, etc, which I though it was very interesting and actually very smart to prepare these players not only for their soccer careers but also for what they will have to face in life.
There is also a college camp where they bring 12 top college coaches to their field and train West Coast FC players for a few days.
Congrats West Coast FC Boys U17 and Coach Wallis for all the hard work and as we can see it all paid off!