The general rule of thumb for Tennessee teams is not to expect big things when you travel west of the Mississippi. For many years, teams from the local region have struggled against teams from states like California and Texas. In 2012, FC Alliance coaches Josh Gray and Jon Schneider rolled the dice, sending their teams to the prestigious Las Vegas Players Showcase. A tournament on the other side of the country can be a risky decision for a coach, as the expense and time commitment is higher. For both the U17 Black and U18 Black, the bet turned out to be a good one. Gray’s 95 girls won all four games, while Schneider’s 94 squad won one and tied the other three. Success on such a big stage sends a great signal to the members of the club: FC Alliance is becoming more and more of a player on the national stage.
The U18 Black played four teams from the California-South region. Overall, the team conceded only one goal in those four games. Offensively, things did not come easy, as two of the three ties were 0-0. In the final game, Schneider’s team did score in a thrilling 1-0 win over prominent club Notts Forrest of San Diego, California. The club is known for consistently placing players into the PAC 12.
The younger U17 Black, won all four of their games, but three of them were just as thrilling and tight as the U18 team’s games. After a surprisingly easy 3-0 win over Greater Renton FC of Washington, the next three games were all one goal wins: 2-1 victories over California’s Strikers FC and Wolfpack SC, and a 1-0 triumph over Utah’s Laroca Premier.
Overall, the club didn’t lose a single game of the eight played.