The United team is combining with the Glens and preparing for the President's Cup in March. It is not having open tryouts but interested families should email the coach and set up to attend winter practices. The Tigre team has several openings. It will be having tryouts on Feb 9th at Crocker in the morning, exact time TBD. In its first year in CCSL Prep, it took 2nd place, and is playing some very nice soccer. Tigre has been to one tournament so far on its own but many players have guested for other teams at tourneys.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, the combined Barca/Glens team got 2nd place in the SF Cup, a 3-day tournament. The boys went undefeated into the final, outscoring opponents 18-6, but met up with the DeAnza Force squad, which was also a combination of its Premier and Gold players.
Across the Bay, the rest of the Barca squad dominated the El Cerrito 7 v7 tourney, winning all its games handily.
In a dramatic overtime 12-10 victory over Mission White, Barca won the futsal playoffs and took the futsal championship trophy home. Barca went undefeated in futsal over the winter, with a perfect winning record.
Barca teamed up with Glens, both putting in half their team, to play in the Juventus President's Cup. It was their first experience with the big field and 11-aside soccer. The kids made new good friends and played confidently against a Juventus team from Redwood City, Atletico Santa Rosa Chelsea, and a National Soccer Academy team, outscoring them 15-1 in the group stage. Also in the bracket were the San Francisco Seals and Real Madrid from Newark. We took the final and the Bronze championship with a nail biter 1-nil victory over Santa Rosa.
Another mistake by David Luiz, this time losing track of Chicharito for an easy header. For most of the play, Luiz tracked his mark, but as the play continued, and switched sides of the field, Luiz eventually cracked, and ball-watched, rather than getting a body on Hernandez. Watch here.
This video shows a goal by Aston Villa last weekend against Chelsea. It demonstrates perfectly, in a single play, two very bad habits that lead to poor defending - first, Mierles doesn't put pressure on the ball, and allows straight ahead dribble penetration - and second, David Luiz watches the ball (the dribbler) and doesn't track the striker behind him, so he gets dragged out of position.
Though undefeated at the tourney, a frustrating tie in the Saturday night game, despite dominating possession, only got us into the 3rd place game, where we had a terrific, high-intensity match under the lights in San Carlos with South San Jose Arsenal. Barca prevailed in penalties.
Barca has worked hard to improve its intensity and work rate defensively. This finally paid off in a hard fought weekend at the Golden Gate Invitational in San Francisco at the Crocker Amazon soccer complex. In each of our bracket games, it was hard fought and tight and close for much of the game, but Barca eventually broke the games open late, scoring 14 with 2 against over the three games. In the final against an excellent MFRC Earthquakes team from Redwood City, Barca scored early and then withstood a long-ball attack during the second-half to win 1-0. Thanks to all the 8 teams in our age group who pushed each other to better performances.
If you spend a little time clicking through old posts on this website, you will learn a lot about the Barca United team. Until now, only players and their parents have visited this site. This post is here to familiarize others with the team and our philosophy.
Most of the Barca United players are in 5th grade; two are in 6th grade and one in 4th. We play year-round, but we actually encourage kids to enjoy other sports simultaneously, and we accommodate conflicts. United has lost only a handful of games through the indoor, spring, summer, fall and tournament seasons. Far more important than winning, though, is the quality of play. We are teaching Barcelona-style modern soccer: maintaining possession, rapid passing, and advanced-passing combinations. Using pass-counters, we track the number of passes the team makes during a game. In the fall of 2010, for instance, the kids averaged 170 passes per 50 minute game - a rate equivalent to over 300 passes in a 90 minute game. This has increased at the U11 level.
I frequently make quick, short videos for the kids to watch during the week, so that our practice field time - a precious resource - isn't squandered with a lot of speechifying about big concepts. Instead, we use practices to model and correct. The big concepts come across in training videos or letters.
Even then, the best thing about Barca United is the chemistry between the kids and their families. Many of the parents are former or current players, and real fans of the game. We try to expose the team to the true culture of soccer, and pass along our love for the game.
Braving 95 degree weather (in the shade), Barca's two wins and one tie got them into the final of the CVU Open. Though dominating the run of play in the final, Barca could not manage a goal, and a great goal by the CVU Elite team on a well-shaped corner kick and hard header into the net gave CVU the win. Congrats to CVU, and thanks to all the eight teams in the age group. It was a fun weekend in Sacramento over Labor Day.
Barca took 11 players and their families to South Lake Tahoe for a tournament. At first, playing at 5,000 feet in the heat was very hard on us who live at sea-level. But Barca still managed to win its way into the final. It played one of the best teams it's ever faced, a truly amazing NorCal Premier team from Sacramento, from the Inter-Rage club. Playing defense most of the game, Barca kept it close for awhile, but Inter-Rage got one before the half and eventually found creative ways to get more, beating Barca 4-1. It was a great challenge for us, an honor to play them, and we hope we meet again somewhere.