BLOOMFIELD, Mich. – The U17 Boys from Bloomfield's own Force Football Club Academy are coming home National Champions after winning against DDYSC Wolves 3-2 in the Super Y North American Championship on Tuesday at IMG Academy in Bradenton Florida.
Coach Danny Price's team participated in the competition from December 5th through the 9th after earning the right from their performance this past year in the regular season.
Super Y North American Championship is presented by Nike and displays high level and profile competition where college coaches come to scout and players get to see how they rank up against the other tops teams in the nation. The competition in Force's group that they faced was from around the country and also included the Decatur-DeKalb YMCA Soccer Club (DDYSC) from Georgia that they would end up facing in the finals. The teams they competed against in the regular group stage were a 2-1 win over DDYSC, a 5-0 win over F.A. Euro New York and a 4-1 over VA Alliance. In the semi-finals, they won 4-1 over the Atlantic Metros FC Blue. The team would then have a rematch against DDYSC as that team would also move on after a 3-1 semi-final win over the Indian Invaders.
"It was a real nail bitter of a finish," said Coach Price about the championship game. "To be honest, when we scored 2 minutes before the end of regulation, I thought that was it. But a scrappy corner turned into an equalizer for DDYSC Wolves. We went into extra time confident and maintained our belief that we could win the game without the need for PKs. Just before we scored the winner, we missed a PK, but thankfully DeJuan Jones went up against the keeper, he stayed composed to finish underneath him to make it 3-2. We just really saw the game out from there."
This intense and highly talented game started the scoring off close to halftime when Force's Zach Lane came from about 30 yards to hit the sweet spot of the corner of the upper right of the net. The Wolves would equalize it when Mohamed Tambadu would score in the 56th but with just minutes left before the end of regulation and perceivably the end of the game, Alex Joneson rebounded his own shot and scored for Force. With a 2-1 lead it looked promising for Price's team until in the final minute Joel Dominguez would score for DDYSC to bring the game to a 2-2 draw at the end of regulation.
Overtime went on to a close and threatening point where if no one scored that sacred goal, they would have to go on the penalty shootout where it's anyone's game. DeJuan Jones, Mr Soccer recipient and Michigan State University commit, however would seal the fate of both squads as he finished the game in the last few minutes of overtime with a decisive move and goal to have the winner 3-2.
"I am thankful for the opportunity to coach such a great group of lads in the best club around in my opinion," said Price. "Andy Wagstaff has given me the opportunity to come to Force FC, and today the Championship was for the club."
That club, the Force FC is a successful standout club/academy in Bloomfield Michigan that works hard at preparing the youth of Michigan to move on to a higher level of play through their work to develop their soccer abilities and training ethics. The club began in the early 1990s and current Owner and General Manager Andrew Wagstaff begain as the club's trainer at the time. Andy used to play with the Detroit Neon and Rockers and has been an Assistant Coach for the University of Michigan, and currently is for 2014 Horizon League Championship Oakland University men's soccer team. He is also an assistant with the 2014 National Championship Michigan Bucks PDL team.
Price is the Super Y League Director of Coaching and Player Development at Force FC. He began playing in Blackpool, England for Blackpool Rangers and also for Lancashire County FC. He then moved here and came to Force a few years back. Before joining Force, Price was a Super Y coach for Chicago Fire Juniors who won the U14 girls National Championship in 2010.
It is a bitter sweet ending for Coach Price as he explains "It's a great feeling and this group has been together for a long time now. I cannot believe it's over and they will go off to college, but it was a fitting way to end on."
Force FC hold indoor winter trainings at Ultimate Soccer Arena (www.utlimatearenas.com) in Pontiac, home to the 2014 PDL National Championship Michigan Bucks.