In stunning fashion, the CV San Jose FC Gunners ’96 Red team dethroned the reigning State Cup Champions, Hayward Mini Chivas in a 2-1 battle. After a well-played match, the two teams went into overtime tied at 1-1 with the “Golden Goal” rule in play. After about ten minutes of hard-fought action, the Gunners prevailed when a corner kick was deflected outside the 6 by the keeper. Fortunately for the Gunners, the ball was sent in the direction of Nathan Engstrom, a central defender sent up to cover the outside. Nate deftly volleyed the ball through the crowd in front of the net and the Hayward keeper was left only to watch the ball blast by him into the far corner of the net.
This State Cup win by the Gunners is historic for several reasons:
1. This is the first boys’ team from Central SC Valley Youth Soccer and the San Jose FC to win State Cup!
2. This team is comprised of some of the original Project 40 players and one of the very first “tiered club” programs started in Central Valley (by Allen Moore) over 7 years ago!
3. The Gunners ’96 club, comprised of three very viable and successful teams, still hosts over 50% of its players as being home-grown from within the Central Valley Rec and Competitive programs. 3 original players remain on the roster and 7 players have been developed and brought up through the ranks (White to Red) over the course of the past few years.
4. The Gunners were also some of the founding teams to work with Ian Russell during the formation of the San Jose FC soccer club.
The foundation of this team started long, long ago and the success has been building gradually over the years. Through the vision of the Project 40 identification and evaluation process, with the strength of the tiered club structure, by the focused leadership and management of the age group by Allen Moore, to the faith of the parents in the program’s direction, and through tremendous coaching and training, originally by Ian Russell and now by the current head coach, Miguel Botto.
The Gunners are now making plans to head off to Hawaii (June 17-23) to compete with the best teams from the 14 western states at the US Youth Soccer Far West Regionals! The Gunners will also be joined by the CV Chilipeppers GU18 team!
Congrats to the team, the players, the coaches (current and former), Allen Moore, and the Board of Central Valley for helping the Gunners reach their goals!