South Bay Matrix FC teams shined in the Memorial Super Cup tournament held May 26-27. The Under-14G squad (U15 in 2012-13) is coached by Hector Romo and ended up as Co-Champions in one of the more bizarre finals in recent memory. The final between SB Matrix and Mission Viejo Fusion was called because of darkness. The lights went out at Town Center Community Park soccer complex at 9:30 p.m.—while the teams were still in a penalty shootout! They were tied in kicks from the mark. The teams also tied 2-2 during the thrilling, but abbreviated match. The ‘second half’ was called about 15 minutes early in a vain attempt to hold the shootout in time before the lights were shut off.
Soccer Tournament Specialists, the tournament organizers, declared the teams co-champions as players and parents scrambled to gather their belongings in near total darkness. During the tournament, the South Bay girls scored 13 goals in four matches. Coach Romo’s alignment change resulted in a more wide-open, offense-minded attack. In addition, the team’s signature style of possession soccer yielded stretches of 5,6,7 passes in a row before losing the ball.
In U10G (U11 in 2012-13), the SB Matrix FC team coached by Hector Gonzalez gave the Rebels Lopez team all it could handle in the semis. Matrix and Rebels tied 1-1 in regulation, before Rebels eked out a win in kicks from the penalty mark. The Matrix U10G team got on the board first, stunning Rebels early. Matrix gave up the equalizer in the second half. The South Bay squad demonstrated great footwork in a sometimes overly physical, emotional match. There was very little difference between the teams, skill-wise. That was a great sign for the young South Bay team, which was coming off a dominating performance in a recent beach soccer tournament.
Tournaments such as the Memorial Super Cup provide coaches a window into a team’s strengths and weaknesses–things to work on this summer in preparation for the Presidio League. They can be great fun also. Congratulations to players on both South Bay teams and their coaching staffs.