Ft. Lauderdale Strikers are one win away from playing for the NASL Championship. Read about forward Martin Nunez, former Sunset High star, here...
Here's the complete list. It's chock full of Miami-Dade players.
Quinton Watson, Miami Country Day, Jr.; Jacky Sasson, Miami Country Day, Jr.; Leo Estabridis, Dade Christian, Jr.; Jake Moffet, Westminster Christian, Jr.; Justin Moo Young, Westminster Christian, Jr.; Tyrone Serrao, Miami Country Day, Soph.
Ned De Leo, Ransom, Jr.; Rafa Faria, Gulliver, Sr.; Andrew Quintana, Florida Christian, Sr.; Mike Lloret, Ransom, Sr.; Camilio Roneros, Gulliver, Jr.
Michael Aronowicz, Reagan, Sr.; Luca Garcia, Pace, Sr.; Nicolas Roque, Belen, Jr.
Mike Barabado, American, Sr.; Chris Torres, American, Jr.; Jhonny Vidalas, Varela, Sr.; Pietro Amacehirely, Columbus, Sr.; Steven Salinas, Killian, Sr.; Anthony Amaya, Ferguson, Jr.
Three members of the Region 4-5A champion Monarch Knights will play for South Georgia College, as will Cypress Bay's Jon-Michael White, according to Monarch coach Stephen Lorenc.
Forward Felipe Nascimento, midfielder Joao Mendes and defender Victor Castro were the backbone of Monarch's improbable run through the regional playoffs, and will be teammates again at South Georgia, a junior college in Douglas, Ga.
"Getting these four players from South Florida was exactly what I set out to do," said South Georgia coach Ken Kirsch. "It made my 2009 recruiting class extremely strong and I consider all of them blue-chip prospects They will definitely help us out immediately next season."
FloridaGirlsSoccer.com has named Sarah Granda of Dade Christian and Westminster Christian's Ceci Colon to it's 2A Sall-State Team.
Westminster Christian bounced Dade Christian from the Region 4-2A tournament in the semifinals on penalty kicks before losing to American Heritage (Delray Beach) in the finals.
The Palm Beach County-heavy team is available here.
After stepping away for a few days to let the dust settle, here are a few thoughts on my week in Tampa.
1. Upsets are fun, but they don't often lead to state championships. Nobody expected Pine Crest to emerge out of 3A or for Varela to capture the Region 4-6A crown. Their runs were exciting, but it shouldn't be a surprise that they both lost early. One has to think University and Killian would have fared better.
2. It's really tough to write game stories on teams that don't score a goal. And this past week, there were more zeroes on the board than are in Obama's stimulus plan (Aside: $789,000,000,000 is a mindboggling amount of money). South Florida's teams played 240 minutes of soccer. They didn't muster a single score. Blech.
3. The tournament should be brought back to South Florida. Even in a down year, three of the last 20 teams standing hail form South Florida. In other years, that number is doubled. How many people do you think made the trip to Tampa? Aside from families and girlfriends, none. There are several million people in Miami-Dade and Broward, a far bigger market than Tampa.
4. What do I write about now, especially if MLS is a no-go? Time to recalibrate.
For the first 60 or so minutes, neither Monarch nor Palm Harbor University looked ready
The two teams combined for just one shot on goal … a harmless long effort by Monarch …
and didn't come close to sniffing a goal.
Then the lights went down, and Palm Harbor woke up.
With just over 13 minutes left in regulation, the Pinellas County representatives
tallied the deciding goal to send Monarch back to Broward County.
The Hurricanes added a late penalty kick to bounce the Knights 2-0 at University of
Tampa's Pepin Stadium Friday night.
Minutes before the first goal, the stadium lights cut out, leaving the two sides
scuffling in the twilight.
Ben Sweat could see just fine. The Hurricanes midfielder collected a pass from P.J.
McDonald at the top of the box, twisted to his right and fired the shot off his left foot
past Monarch goalie Diego Cardoso.
Six minutes later, Palm Harbor University put it away.
The Hurricanes were attacking inside the box, and Cardoso took down Andrew Smith while
the ball was free.
Matthew Tobin then beat Cardoso on a well-placed penalty kick. Using his left foot, he
slid it inside the right post.
The teams spent the first part of the game battling for the midfield. Neither Monarch
(18-6-2) nor Palm Harbor (23-4-4) put a shot on goal in the first half.
However, Palm Harbor had the better of play. Forward Matthew Tobin broke free in the
sixth minute, had look at the goal, but sent the ball just left.
The second half wasn't much better, with the initial shot goal not coming until the
55th minute of play. Felipe Nascimento drove a free kick on net, but it went right to the
Palm Harbor keeper Max Gallin.
Then in the 67th minute, Palm Harbor nailed the decider.
Well, that was terrible.
The first 40 minutes of the Class 5A semifinal could just as well not been played. Neither team even mustered a shot on goal.
Here's hoping it picks up in the second half, or I will have absolutely nothing to write about.