The Madison Futsal League's Forge Under-16 boys team is headed to Kansas this weekend in search of its second straight U.S. Youth Futsal national championship.
The Forge are in Pool C in their 10-team division at the 12th annual event, which is being held at the New Century Fieldhouse and the Roeland Park Sport Dome.
Group play is Saturday and Sunday morning, with semifinals Sunday night and the final Monday. At last year's national finals, the Forge edged Texas' Team X 3-2 in the Under-14 championship game, scoring in the final seconds to win the title. Five of the eight players on this year's Forge team were part of last year's winning side.
The Forge, coached by MFL founder Ilir Lushaj, will play Florida's Santos FC at noon Saturday and Indiana's Phoenix FC at 5 p.m. Their foe for their third match at 10 a.m. Sunday will be based on Saturday's results – the top two teams from Pool B and Pool C will meet to help determine which teams will advance to the semifinals, while the third-place teams will meet in a consolation game. Kansas' ESI, Florida's Bonita and Minnesota's JOTP Mondrian are in Pool B.
The Madison-based team won last month's Midwest Regional to earn its berth at nationals, avenging a loss to BRUSFA Indiana Elite during group play with a 6-3 victory in the regional final. The national championships will feature a record 147 teams from 19 states and Canada.
MADISON FUTSAL LEAGUE FORGE UNDER-16 ROSTER
Colin Alba, Waukesha Catholic Memorial/FC Wisconsin
Collin Bjerke, Oregon/FC Wisconsin
Evan Carlson, Sauk Prairie/FC Wisconsin
Erich Legut, Waukesha West/FC Wisconsin
Sidney Marquardt, Hartland Arrowhead/FC Wisconsin
Eliot Popkewitz, Verona/Madison 56ers
Simon Sisk, Middleton/FC Wisconsin
Ben Tutewohl, Madison 56ers
- SC Waukesha is one of six clubs that will join U.S. Club Soccer's National Premier Leagues Midwest Developmental League ahead of the 2017-18 season. SC Waukesha's Under-13 through Under-18/19 boys teams will play in the West Division along with the Madison 56ers, Illinois clubs Campton United and Sockers FC, Minnesota Thunder Academy, Minnesota Twin Stars, Indiana Elite FC and Indy Premier SC. "SC Waukesha is very excited about joining the NPL/MDL, and look forward to a very challenging playing environment that will help better develop our players," club coaching director Giuliano Oliviero said in a news release. FC Wisconsin has fielded teams in the MDL since it started in 2011, but the Nationals are moving to the new Elite Clubs National League Boys Midwest Conference in the fall.
- Six FC Wisconsin Eclipse players were among the 49 who participated in the ECNL Player Development Program Midwest North event last weekend at the McClain Athletic Facility in Madison. Defenders Sydney Schaaf, Nicole Norfolk, Josie Ascione and Audrey Poorman (Milwaukee DSHA) and forwards Hayley Farrington and Emma Jaskaniec (Menomonee Falls) were part the event, which included players from Illinois' Eclipse Select and Sockers FC-Chicago, Minnesota Thunder Academy and St. Louis Scott Gallagher (Illinois and Missouri). Players from PDP events, along with others scouted throughout the ECNL season, are considered for invitations to the ECNL / id2 National Training Camp in July.
- FC Wisconsin Eclipse's Under-18, Under-17 and Under-16 teams are headed south for the ECNL Texas event, which is Saturday through Monday in the Houston suburbs of Spring and Tomball. FC Wisconsin Eclipse results, schedules and rosters
- Monica Gonyo (New Berlin/Waukesha Catholic Memorial), a goalkeeper coach for FC Wisconsin Eclipse, is one of 12 female coaches from ECNL clubs nationwide to receive a Health and Education Resources Coaching Scholarships. The scholarship provides Gonyo, who played college soccer at Loyola (Ill.), the opportunity to pursue a U.S. Soccer Federation "D" or "E" coaching license.