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Club notes: State trio headed to Qatar with Fire for elite tournament

01/06/2014, 5:45pm CST
Al Kass International Cup logo

The Chicago Fire is the first U.S. team invited to play in the Al Kass International Cup, an elite tournament in Qatar featuring Under-16 teams from some of the world's top clubs. And three Wisconsin players will be making the trip to Doha for the event.

Jack Shaw (Milwaukee Marquette), who plays for the Fire's Under-15/16 team in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, will be joined by Sam Kornetzke (Grafton/North Shore United) and Connor Alba (Waukesha Catholic Memorial/SC Waukesha). Shaw previously played with Bavarian SC.

Kornetzke and Alba earned invitations to the tournament based on their participation with the Wisconsin Fire, the partnership between 10 state clubs, the Wisconsin Olympic Development Program and the Fire that started last fall.

There also will be a state presence on the sidelines, as University of Wisconsin men's assistant Stan Anderson (UW-Parkside) is on the Fire Academy coaching staff.

The Fire are scheduled to leave Jan. 11, with their first match against tournament co-host Aspire Qatar on Jan. 14 at 8:35 a.m. Central. The next day, they'll face England's Manchester City to finish out Group D play at 11:40 a.m. Central.

The other teams in the 12-team, invitation-only tournament are Spanish powers FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, French clubs Paris Saint-Germain and Auxerre, Brazil's Fluminense, Italy's AC Milan, Portugal's FC Porto, Japan's Kashiwa Reysol and Aspire International, the other tournament co-host.

The third-place teams from each of the four groups will play in the ninth- and 11th-place matches on Jan. 17, while the quarterfinals are set for Jan. 18 and 19. The semifinals are Jan. 21, with the final and third-place game on Jan. 23. Consolation semifinals and the fifth- and seventh-place matches are Jan. 20 and 22.

PSG won the inaugural Al Kass International Cup in 2012, outlasting Italy's Juventus on penalty kicks, then lost to Fluminense on penalties in last year's final.

Al Kass International Cup website
More on Kornetzke from MyCedarburgOnline

From left: Connor Alba, Jack Shaw and Sam Kornetzke

From left: Connor Alba, Jack Shaw and Sam Kornetzke

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