LAFC SCV sends two teams to Nationals 

LAFC SCV Boys 2011. Photo courtesy of LAFC SCV.

LAFC SCV will send two of its local Santa Clarita teams to represent the youth soccer club at Nationals this July. 

For LAFC SCV G 2008, it’s a shot at redemption after falling in the tournament last season while LAFC SCV B 2011 will be the first-ever boys team to represent the Santa Clarita affiliate of LAFC at the national club level. 

“We’re the first boys team from Santa Clarita to qualify, so we are happy it’s us,” said coach Jared White. “We’re happy our club is starting to have a little bit of balance. We’ve sent so many girls teams over the last three years that it’s nice to send a deserving boys team and get that recognition.” 

White serves as the club assistant director and coach of the National Premier Cup bound LAFC boys’ team. The coach took over the group three years ago and has seen impressive growth with the team, which has mostly been together for five seasons. 

“We still prioritize development at this age, but this group was just so ahead of the curve early on, from an intensity and competitive standpoint, that we were able to kind of push them a little bit further ahead of the curriculum.”  

The B 2011 team plays fast, and presses high, which has led the team to several tournament championships and now a shot at the national gold. 

The boys team qualified for the NPL Cup back in November, when it entered a four-team playoff, with the top teams earning tickets to nationals. LAFC won its semifinal game 4-0, to make the NPL cup a reality but fell 5-4 in penalties of the title match.  

“They’re not afraid of the moment, they’re not afraid of competition,” White said. “They’ve embraced every challenge I’ve thrown their way. Colorado is just kind of the tipping point of all their successes over the last couple of years.” 

The 2008 girls enter the tournament having won just about all there is to win at the club level. The team has been league, State Cup and Surf Cup champs already and now will take the pitch for the title of national champions. 

Commerce City hosts both the National Cup and the National Premier Cup, two separate national tournaments for club soccer every year. Only the top teams in the country can qualify for a spot in one but the girls 2008 team could potentially play in both.  

“They’ve won the big tournaments like the Surf Cups and the Manchester City Cups. They won (league) now two years in a row,” White said. “This is the last box they need to check to hit it all. They’ve been a very successful group over the last couple of years.” 

LAFC SCV G 2008 is coached by Guilherme Mitrovitch, who has now qualified for five national cups but is still looking for his first title. 

“(Mitrovitch) preaches defense, he preaches winning the ball back immediately upon losing it,” White said. “So they’re a group that works really, really hard. They stay organized, they’re flexible, they play a number of different formations and styles, they’re very adaptable.” 

The girls team has again torn through its regular season and tournaments but now stands at the edge of redemption, after falling at the NPL Finals last season. 

LAFC SCV Girls 2008. Photo courtesy of LAFC SCV.

“They have a unique opportunity to run it back,” White said. “Nothing’s guaranteed in this sport, as with most, and they feel fortunate to have sustained this success. I know coach G and the girls are ready for another shot at it. I don’t know if they necessarily feel that they performed their best last year when they were there. So hopefully that provides a little bit of spark, a little bit of hunger and they get after it when they get there.” 

White has known most of the players on both teams for nearly half of their lives. He’ll lead one team into battle in Colorado, while keeping an eye on the girls team he coached a few years ago. 

“I love those kids,” White said. “(The girls) have been a group that has stayed with the club, much like the boys team, for a really long time. They’ve trusted the process and trusted in the club. I’m excited for all of their successes and hoping they do really well in Colorado.”  

Both teams will gear up for Colorado in July and look to be the first team to bring home the gold in two years. 

“This is my first time going with my team that I’ve coached over a couple years and to be able to have this moment with them is really special and it’s well earned by everybody,” White said. “I’m excited to go on this journey with them. We don’t know if we’ll ever get another chance to do it again so we’re taking it very seriously. We’re having a very businesslike approach to it because it’s not a guarantee every year and so we’re going to make the most of it. We’re going to enjoy it. We’ve enjoyed the process and the journey, but we’re going there to compete and show well, and hopefully make it out of the bracket and play in a quarterfinal and a semifinal.” 

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