FC Alliance celebrates best run in club history
2012 was a year of amazing memories for FC Alliance. Years of building, merging and joining forces culminated in a long list of accomplishments for a club still in its proverbial infancy. No accomplishment was greater than the tidal wave of players signing on with college teams. The club saw 35 seniors move on to the next level, while over 25 juniors went ahead and made verbal pledges.
The college success was certainly a product of a lot of success on the field, from player development to winning games and tournaments. Here are a few highlights from 2012:
*Tim Baker of 94 Boys Black is one four FC Alliance players named All-American. Baker is also crowned ESPN/Gatorade state player of the year.
*On the same day, both the 97 Girls Black and 94 Girls Black become the first teams from the state of Tennessee to ever win the prestigious Region 3 Invitational College Showcase. Both are coached by Jon Schneider.
*In Coach Paulo Neto’s final season before taking a collegiate job, he leads the 98 Boys Black to another Division 1 state championship, as well as a Premier League title.
*The 04 COED Elite wins the top boys bracket at the Tennessee United tournament. Fielding five boys and three girls, the squad goes unbeaten against some of the strongest boys teams in Tennessee.
*FC Alliance says goodbye to the 94 Boys Black. The team ends their run of state dominance with another Division 1 title, but more importantly, nearly every starter moves on to play college soccer.
*95 Girls Black repeats as state champions and win the Region 3 Central Premier League. Teams from the SEC and Big East swoop in and get commitments from multiple players, including Kathryn Culhane pledging to the Lady Vols.
*Coach Carrie Ollom’s 98 Girls Red win the Division 2 state championship in a penalty kick shootout. Jasmine Rizk makes the championship save after a heroic performance in net all game long.
*96 Girls Black also defend their state championship, as Coach Josh Gray’s state champion trophy collection begins to grow exponentially.
*00 Boys Gold knock off East Ridge Express to win the Division 3 state championship. Skylar Bailey scores the game winner on a dramatic corner kick in the final moments.
*The Creel brothers, Ryan and Jon, are both called up by their regional ODP teams to play abroad. Ryan, a Kentucky commit, is invited to Argentina; Jon, a U14, is called up to play in Costa Rica.
*Four teams win the inaugural Tennessee Cup in Murfreesboro: 02 Girls Black, 03 Boys Black, 99 Boys Black and 95 Boys Black.
*The 00 Girls North win the GSA tournament in Atlanta, signifying the quick rise of the club’s North program.
*98 Girls Black makes a run to the Division 1 state finals, before falling to eventual national finalist Tennessee Soccer Club.
*96 Girls Black and 97 Girls Black (Premier League champions) are accepted into the prestigious National League.
*Over 200 people attend FC Alliance’s first college recruiting seminar held at The Field House at Amherst.
*Coach Luc Dessieux’s 02 Girls Red wins three consecutive tournaments to end the year.
*Peyton Thomas signs with Tennessee and Teni Butler with Arkansas as the 94 Girls Black teammates move on to play college soccer in the SEC.
*Coach Paulo Neto coaches two teams to Vulcan Cup championships, while Coach Kelly Webb coaches one. Coach Darrick Lubell’s 02 Black plays up an age group and goes to the finals.
*The 99 Boys Black defeat the #1 team in the nation and win the Open Cup in Decatur, Alabama.
*Will Little of the 98 Boys Black represents the United States in Mexico for the Region 3 ODP team.
*13 FC Alliance players make the Region 3 ODP team, while one player makes the Region 2 team.
*Coach Shane Moore’s 00 Girls Black win the CASL tournament at the championship level.
*A long list of younger teams win a plethora of tournaments around East Tennessee.
*In Coach Eddy Semaan’s final tournament as coach of the 98 Boys Gold, the team wins their first championship: United FA Fall Classic.
*04 Girls Black goes to the finals of every tournament in the fall, before winning the CESA tournament in November.
*FC Alliance starts a TopSoccer program, drawing both players and coaches from all areas of Knoxville.