Youth Soccer

Local players help claim US Club Soccer National Cup

amoody@newsobserver.comJuly 30, 2013 

Premier UK Elite '97 players are, seated, from left, Tyler Dacaret, Luke Gettys, Eric Loredo, Bailey Jackson, Hunter Faust, Austin Wilhelm, Derek Kaple and Christopher Guzman; and standing, from left, Zachary Sexton, Ryan Patton, Ryan Killen, Jacob Mann, John Pike, Jackson Hawthorne, Eli Strong, Christian Guzman, Jesus Ibarra, Ryan Mays and coach Nathan Bird.


— A U15 soccer team composed mostly of local players rose to the top in the U.S. Club Soccer National Cup, held July 19-21 in Aurora, Colo.

The Premier UK Elite ‘97 team outscored its opponents by a total of 17-5 as it claimed the Premier division title in the 12th installment of the national tournament.

“This is our biggest and best, by far,” said Nathan Bird, team coach and Premier UK Soccer regional director. “We’ve won local tournaments and qualifiers, but to travel to a national event and win, you’ve just got to take a step back and take it all in, really.”

The Premier UK team is essentially an all-star team formed with players from soccer organizations across the state that hold partnerships with Premier UK. The team consists of players from the East Wake Soccer Association, where Bird also serves as coaching director, the Iredell County Recreation Department and the Mebane Youth Soccer Association.

The conglomerate crew secured the national championship with a 6-0 battering of Bloomfield Soccer Club, avenging a 2-1 loss Bloomfield had issued in the second round of the tournament.

A 5-1 victory over FC Pittsburgh in round three punched the team’s ticket to the title game. The Premier UK team opened with a 5-2 win over Washington East Soccer Club.

Representing the EWSA on the title team were Christian Guzman (Bunn High School), Christopher Guzman (Bunn), Jackson Hawthorne (North Raleigh Christian Academy), Jesus Ibarra (East Wake High School), Derek Kaple (Corinth Holders High School), Ryan Killen (NRCA), Eric Loredo (East Wake), Ryan Maze (Knightdale High School), Ryan Patton (NRCA) and Eli Strong (NRCA).

They were joined by ICRD players Tyler Dacaret, Hunter Faust, Luke Gettys, Bailey Jackson, John Pike, Zachary Sexton and Austin Wilhelm, and MYSA player Jacob Mann.

The team went 3-0 in the National Cup southeast regional, held in Greensboro in late June, to qualify for the national event.

“For (Premier UK Soccer) to be two and a half years old and to accomplish this is phenomenal,” Bird said of the team’s feat.

Moody: 919-829-4806

North Raleigh News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service