15 Boys Represent Michigan and Region 2 at USYSA Nationals
Vardars Mitchell Guitar earns Best of 11 Selection
Mitchell Guitar was recognized for his outstanding play at the USYSA National Championship Tournament held July 23-27 in Overland, KS. Guitar was named Best of 11 in the U15 Boys age category.
Introduced at the 2011 US Youth Soccer National Championships was the tournament Best 11. Similar to FIFA’s all-tournament concept, the Best 11 recognizes the top 11 performers in each gender age group, irrespective of their position on the field, throughout the tournament as voted by coaches of the participating teams in that age group.
The Best 11 join the Golden Ball, Golden Glove and Fair Play awards given out annually at the National Championships. The Golden Ball and Glove were first awarded in 1998 to the players in each division who have the greatest competitive impact in the National Championships, and has featured winners such as Robbie Findley, Jonathan Bornstein, Freddy Adu, Chris Seitz, Lindsey Tarpley, Christen Press and Kerri Hanks.
Michigan Challenge Cup - Aug. 10-11, 2013
The Vardar 05 Girls won all four games played during the Michigan Challenge Cup held Aug. 10-11, 2013.
The team is coached by Jason Collinsworth. Great start to the season, girls!
The Vardar ’06 boys played up in the U9 division in the Waza Genesee Cup and won it all. They defeated the Novi Jags 4-2 in the final. Congratulations!
Vardar’s U15-U18 Girls Teams are heading to Denver, CO for the Labor Day Weekend to play inter-conference games in the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL). All four teams will play against Sporting Blue Valley of Kansas on Saturday, Colorado Rush on Sunday and then Real Colorado on Monday. Best of luck to all our Vardar girls!
Two Vardar teams brought home the championship at the Aug. 17-18 Genesee Cup. The Vardar 04 Boys went 4-0 enroute to the title scoring 17 goals and only allowing two goals against. Meanwhile the Vardar Red 01 Boys also went 4-0 scoring 11 goals while only allowing two goals against. Great job to both teams!
Vardar 04 brought home their second trophy of the season. In August they were Genesee Cup Champions and then over Labor Day Weekend the team won the top division (U10 8v8 FIVE STAR) at the Mead Cup in dominating fashion. The boys won all four games with a total of 14 goals, only allowing three goals against.
In addition, the Vardar ’06 boys were finalist in the Mead Cup U8 6v6 five star division. Great job to all!
Vardar’s U17 ECNL Girls had two strong wins this past weekend beating former national champions, Eclipse Select Soccer Club, on September 14 and then the Sockers FC on September 15.
According to Coach Demir Muftari, the game against Eclipse went back and forth with goals for Vardar from Maddie Schupbach, Amanda Pokriefka and Annie Walker. With four minutes left in the game, Kelly Sweeney scored the game winner. Kelsey Parrinello had three assists on the day.
The game against the Sockers was a much different match-up, Muftari noted. “I think we were a bit sluggish after the emotional high from beating the Eclipse the day before and it took us a while to make adjustments to the Sockers defensive style of play. In the second half Parrinello led the attack by playing a through ball to Sweeney who scored her second goal in two days. Parrinello then solidified the game for Vardar by adding a goal to make it a 2-0 final.
Vardar’s U14 ECNL Team received coverage in Top Drawer Soccer for their scoring bout in Milwaukee Sept. 21-22. Read more at http://www.topdrawersoccer.com/club-soccer-articles/ecnl-recap
The Vardar Academy Teams faced the Crew Soccer Academy from Columbus on Saturday and came away with 1 win and two ties.
The U18s kicked off the day with a 0-0 tie. "Our guys battled all the way," said Coach Demir Muftari. "We had several guys step up today and while both teams had their chances, it’s always good to come up with at least a point."
The U16s routed the Crew in a 4-0 game that saw goals from Kevin Kelly, Nash Popovic, Travis Harrington and Jimmy Todd.
"It was a good result after a tough loss on the road in Missouri last weekend," Muftari said. "We scored three minutes into the game and never looked back."
The 14s came away with a 1-1 tie against the Crew.
Vardar Academy Teams faced off against Sockers FC on Saturday, Oct. 19, and came away with two wins and one tie.
The 18s kicked off first and saw themselves down 2-0 in the first half to the Sockers. The team battled back from the deficit with goals from Matt Nance and Nate McLean. Then Mark Lupenec scored the game winner late giving Vardar the 3-2 advantage.
The 16s started out with Vardar goalkeeper, Pearce Skinner, coming up big three times to keep the home team in the game in the first half. Then, when Vardar did get scoring chances, they put the ball away and finished with goals from Jimmy Todd, Jake Rosen and two from Nash Popovic. The final was Vardar 4 and Sockers 0.
"Pearce made some really big saves until we could get going offensively," said Coach Mike Lupenec. "You can never fall asleep in Academy games because things can change really fast. I’m proud of our guys for staying strong the entire second half and finishing chances that came our way."
Finally the 14s played the Sockers and battled to a 2-2 tie. Matt Mielnicki and Assad Bujaidar earned the goals for Vardar.
To say that the VARDAR 04 Boys had a successful run this fall would be an understatement!
They started the pre-season with back-to-back tournament wins. The first was a Championship at the Genesee Cup. Two weeks later they finally brought home a first place Championship from the Mead Cup (after losing in the semi’s in 2011 and 2012)
In September they set their sites on the MYSL season and captured first place in the 2013 Fall MYSL U10 8v8 Premier Division by going undefeated. Season highlights include:
- In 18 games, the boys did not record a single loss (17 WINS and 1 TIE).
- A total of 88 goals were scored and only 10 were allowed.
- That’s an average of 4.89 goals scored per game, and only .56 goals allowed.
- Over the course of those 18 games, they posted 10 shut outs.
- They only allowed 1 goal in 6 games.
- The most goals allowed during any game was 2 and that occurred just twice.
- They have not lost a regular season game (Fall, Winter or Spring) in a year and a half (since June 9, 2012). During that time they have played 76 games and won all but four which occurred during tournament play, not regular season play. And all losses were in tournaments where the team was playing up an age.
Two players from the Vardar U14 ECNL squad, Paige Goodman and Bella Jodzis, have been invited to the US Youth Soccer Girls ODP National Training Camp in Phoenix, Arizona to be held January 27 –February 1, 2014.
Twenty girls from Region II were invited to the training camp including Paige and Bella who have been members of the Michigan State ODP 1999 Team and Region II ODP 1999 team for two years each.
The Vardar U16 Academy Team won all three games at the recent U.S. Soccer Development Academy Play-offs to advance to the next stage of the National Finals. Vardar first beat Pateadores from California by a 2-1 advantage.
The boys then faced Players Development Academy from New Jersey and won 2-0. Their final game was against Crossfire Premier from Washington State and the boys came away with a 3-2 win.
Congratulations for a great series of games!
Former Vardar player, Caleb Stanko, has signed a three-year deal with SC Freiburg. Congrats to Caleb!
Niki Read and Anna Sieloff, both members of the Vardar '92 Girls, have signed contracts to play professional soccer, the first female Vardar alumni to reach that status. Niki recently signed with the Chicago Red Stars in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) and in March, Anna joined the BV Cloppenburg team playing in the German Frauen Bundesliga.
Niki joined Vardar at U9 and won four State Cup Championships and one Regional Championship and made it to one National Championship Tournament before continuing her soccer career at the University of Illinois whe re she helped the team to a Big Ten Championship in her junior year.
Anna came to Vardar at U12 and had one additional State Cup Championship before heading to the University of North Carolina where she played goalkeeper on the 2012 National Championship squad.
"I am so excited and happy for Niki and Anna," said Demir Muftari, who coached the '92 Girls to their five State Cup Championships. "Both girls have always been passionate about the sport and worked at the highest level to attain their goals and dreams."
Vardar Director of Coaching Morris Lupenec added that Niki and Anna have been great role models for Vardar female soccer players and have worked with a number of players during and after their years with the club. "We are very proud to have been a part of these two soccer player's development and wish them the best of luck in their professional careers," Morris said.
For more information about the Chicago Red Stars, go to www.chicagoredstars.com.
To see more information about the Cloppenburg team, go towww.women.soccerway.com/teams/germany.
More indepth player profiles are also available at http://www.fightingillini.com/sports/w-soccer/mtt/read_niki00.html and http://www.goheels.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=209112465&DB_OEM_ID=3350
Soccer Player - If you are in high school and interested in playing soccer at the collegiate level, come join the Michigan College Combine, six weeks of training with college coaches from throughout the Midwest.
The Michigan College Combine will be held January 17, 24, 31, February 7, 28 and March 7 at the Winstar Sports Complex from 4-5:30 PM. Each week a different coach from a Division 1, 2 or 3 school will conduct the training session to give you an idea of a collegiate work-out. You will also have the unique opportunity of having the college recruitment process come to you!
The cost of the six-week combine is $200. The combine will be limited to 25 boys and 25 girls on a first-come, first-served basis. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to hold a spot, but your reservation is not complete until the check is received!
Checks should be made payable to VARDAR and mailed to:
4235 Gotwick Dr.
Orion, MI 48359
Memo Line: Michigan College Combine
Please note that we are still in the process of finalizing our coaching assignments. To date we have commitments from University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Bowling Green State University, Saginaw Valley State University and Butler University, but the specific dates that they are attending have not been confirmed. We will not be announcing which coach will be training on what date and Vardar reserves the right to change the schedule as it may become necessary due to coach conflicts, etc.
There will be no refunds for missed classes or pro-rated fees for reduced number of classes. Any cancellations, due to weather or facility issues, will be made up on another Friday evening.
Questions should be addressed to: email@example.com
Vardar U16 ECNL - Game Winning Goals - October 14, 2013
15 Boys Represent Michigan and Region 2 at USYSA Nationals
February 5 was National Signing Day for athletes making it official which university they intend to pursue their sport after high school graduation. Vardar congratulates all of its players who will move on to collegiate soccer at their respective colleges.
Best of luck.
Dean Akeel - Oakland University
Bradley Centala - Michigan State
Jay McIntosh- Indiana
Matt Nance - Xavier
Soto Raphtis - Colgate
Peter Tappenden - Colgate
Eli Appleby - Butler
Nick Badalamenti - Princeton
Connor Ballantyne - Dayton
Craig Duggan - South Carolina
Gabrielle Deleon - West Point Academy
Gabriella Epelman - University of Toledo
Katie Erdman - Bowling Green
Emma Groffsky - Michigan
Bella Habuda - U of Louisville
Carson Janssen - Ashland U
Annika Johnson - George Washington U
Jacqui Kozlowski - Michigan
Kendall Kramer - Michigan
Isabella Kubo - TCU
Mariah Oltoski - Loyola Chicago
Brenna Pawelkowski - Butler
Taylor Timko - Michigan
Ashley Weaver - Butler
Sabrina Austin - Ferris State
Marina Manzo - U of Houston
Kelsey Parrinello - U of Cincinnati
Madison Schupbach - Bowling Green
Sierra Sisco - Louisiana Tech University
|Dean Akeel - Oakland University||Eli Appleby - Butler||Nick Badalamenti - Princeton|
|Connor Ballantyne - Dayton||Bradley Centala - Michigan State||Craig Duggan - South Carolina|
|Jay McIntosh- Indiana||Matt Nance - Xavier||Soto Raphtis - Colgate|
|Peter Tappenden - Colgate||Sabrina Austin - Ferris State||Gabrielle Deleon - West Point Academy|
|Gabriella Epelman - University of Toledo||Katie Erdman - Bowling Green||Emma Groffsky - Michigan|
|Bella Habuda - U of Louisville||Carson Janssen - Ashland U||Annika Johnson - George Washington U|
|Jacqui Kozlowski - Michigan||Kendall Kramer - Michigan||Isabella Kubo - TCU|
|Marina Manzo - U of Houston||Mariah Oltoski - Loyola Chicago||Brenna Pawelkowski - Butler|
|Kelsey Parrinello - U of Cincinnati||Madison Schupbach - Bowling Green||Sierra Sisco - Louisiana Tech University|
|Taylor Timko - Michigan||Ashley Weaver - Butler|
The Vardar U14 ECNL team has recently gained two quality additions to the team. Mya Fregoli (left in photo) and Rachel Rasins, both of whom were invited to the recent US Youth Soccer Girls ODP National Training Camp in Phoenix, AZ, will be wearing Vardar jerseys this spring as the U14s complete their ECNL season. Coach Curtis Ward said, "We are excited to have Mya and Rachel join our team. We look forward to having their competitive drive and toughness."
Nine Vardar girls were selected to participate in the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) Player Development Program event to be held Feb. 8 in Mt. Pleasant, MI. Emma Groffsky, Bella Habuda and Taylor Timko were selected from Vardar's U18s. Kelly Sweeney, Madison Toth, Annie Walker and Jaclyn White were selected from Vardar's U17s. Delaney Horton and Connor Rae Huggins were selected from Vardar's U16s. More information about the ECNL and the PDP event are provided below by the ECNL. Congratulations girls and best of luck at the event.
For a full roster of the participating players, including team assignments for this event, click here.
Player Development Programs (PDPs) are regionally-based identification and development programs within US Club Soccer’s id2 Program with three primary goals: (i) provide the top players within specified elite leagues with an opportunity to be identified and evaluated for higher levels of play; (ii) provide a high quality developmental experience; and (iii) recognize and reward individual performance and achievement. PDPs are operated in conjunction with elite leagues sanctioned by US Club Soccer.
A National Association member of the U.S. Soccer Federation, US Club Soccer is an organization committed to the development and support of soccer clubs in the United States. US Club Soccer offers youth and adult registration, league- and cup-based competition platforms at the recreational and competitive levels, as well as a variety of other programming, including the Olympic Development Program-sanctioned id2 Program and Player Development Programs.
Through US Club Soccer, all of a club’s programs – recreational, competitive and adult – are able to be united under one organizational umbrella, creating a “members for life” culture within each club. US Club Soccer is sponsored by Nike and the Army National Guard.
Top Drawer Soccer recently compiled a listing of the top ten scorers in every ECNL age group after the first of the year. Two Vardar girls, Kelly Sweeney and Gabriala Jodzis both are standing in second place in their age group.
In the U14 age group, Jodzis has scored nine goals in five games making her tied for second among all 14s. In the U17 age group, Sweeney has scored 26 goals in 20 games giving her a stand alone spot for second place.
The complete article on all goal scorers can be found at www.topdrawersoccer.com
Nash Popovic and Willie Maddox, also members of the Vardar 16 Academy Team, will be part of the Academy Select Game to be held Dec. 14 at 6 PM during the Academy Showcase in Brandenton. Academy technical advisors and youth national team coaches will be coaching a select group of 1998s in a stand alone game. The selected players were chosen based on scouting and talent evaluations from games and training centers.
In Addition, Michael Wetungu, member of the Vardar 16 Academy Team, has been invited to the U-17 Men's National Team Roster which will be featured in games at the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Showcase to be held Dec. 7-14 in Bradenton, FL. Michael will be lodged with the U-17 team at the IMG Academies and will play in three select games during the USSDA Showcase. He will be part of the national squad for games against Solar Chelsea on Dec. 11, PA Classics on Dec. 12 and New England Revolution on Dec. 14.
Best of luck to our Vardar Boys as they head to Florida!
Colton Farley and Ben Ofeimu, both members of the Vardar U14 Academy Team recently participated in the US Club Soccer id2 program.The final id2 Training Camp of 2013, targeting boys born in 2000, was held Dec. 12-15 at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, AZ.
A total of 125 boys and girls from 25 different states participated in the four-day, invitation-only camp. Boys id2 Program Director Gerry McKeown guided the players through training with 13 other coaches. Players had busy daily schedules, including training sessions and competitions, team meetings and special presentations off the field. The camp curriculum put a heavy emphasis on high-level technical training, combination play and general team tactics to get the players on the same page for competition.
“The id2 Program is a special opportunity for players,” McKeown said. “It provides the chance for top players to play against players at similar levels to themselves, while being challenged in new and different ways against some of the best players in the country.”
An Olympic Development Program as approved by the United States Olympic Committee and U.S. Soccer Federation, the id2 Program provides an opportunity for the country's elite youth soccer players to be identified and developed, while also being scouted for inclusion in U.S. Soccer's National Team programs.
Michael Wetungu, member of the Vardar 16 Academy Team, has been invited to the U-17 Men's National Team Roster which will be featured in games at the U.S. Soccer Development Academy Showcase to be held Dec. 7-14 in Bradenton, FL. Michael will be lodged with the U-17 team at the IMG Academies and will play in three select games during the USSDA Showcase. He will be part of the national squad for games against Solar Chelsea on Dec. 11, PA Classics on Dec. 12 and New England Revolution on Dec. 14.
In addition, Nash Popovic and Willie Maddox, also members of the Vardar 16 Academy Team, will be part of the Academy Select Game to be held Dec. 14 at 6 PM during the Academy Showcase in Brandenton. Academy technical advisors and youth national team coaches will be coaching a select group of 1998s in a stand alone game. The selected players were chosen based on scouting and talent evaluations from games and training centers.
Best of luck to our Vardar Boys as they head to Florida!
id2 Selections: U14 ECNL players, Mya Fregoli and Rachel Rasins. And Ben Ofeimu, a member of the Vardar U13 NPL Team .. READ MORE....
Ben Ofeimu, a member of the Vardar U13 NPL Team, has been selected to attend a US Club Soccer 2014 id2 National Selection International Tour in Italy.
Practices at Vardar Soccer Club for players U7 through U10 are more fun than ever as a Juggling Program has been implemented in which players can earn colored wristbands for their juggling skills. To encourage players to spend more individual time with the soccer ball, Boys Youth Director Steve Arce, has created the Juggling Program and allows five to ten minutes during each practice for players to count their juggling and earn a new wristband.
For example, U6-U8 players must have five consecutive juggles to earn a white wristband with the words "Vardar Juggling Club" printed on it. Ten juggles earns a yellow band, 15 juggles gets a green, 20 earns a black, 25 juggles is a red band and the top prize is a blue band for 50 consecutive juggles. Players U9-U10 are required to juggle higher numbers for their wristbands.
"Since we've implemented the Juggling Program, we've seen our boys more interested in working on their individual skills," Arce said. "This is so important to the game of soccer especially when trying to control first touches from passes or throw-ins. It's a great way to encourage players to work at home on their skills because they want to show off their improvements the next time they come to practice and earn another wristband. Plus it's all great fun because everyone loves to get a prize!"
Twelve Vardar players were invited by the United States Soccer Federation to a March 26 U.S. Soccer Training Center run by U.S. National team staff members. The training center was held at the Winstar Sports Complex. READ MORE....
Colton Farley, Keith Larson, Matthew Mielnicki, Ben Ofeimu, Assad Bujaidar, Michael Teller, Kevin Buca, Austin Koss, Alex Popa, Ryan Cummins, Hiroshi Claboine and Chase Inscho were all selected to attend the program. The boys are members of either the U14 Academy Team or the U13 NPL Team.
The U.S. Soccer Training Center program aims to identify the best players for the U.S. Soccer Youth National Team program. Training Center events are open to the top players from any team, club or organization. Sessions are free, single-day player identification opportunities for local players with the most potential to train under the direction of U.S. Soccer National Team coaches. U.S. Soccer runs over 300 Sessions per year around the country.
*The Vardar U14 Girls recently traveled to South Carolina for an intraconference ECNL event and went unbeaten for the weekend. Opening with a 2-0 defeat of Ohio Elite Soccer Academy, Vardar then topped OP Eagles 2-1, and concluded its trip with a 2-2 draw against Penn Fusion SA.
*Five of seven Vardar teams participating in the Michigan State Cup Tournament have advanced past pool play. Vardar's U13 boys and girls, U14, U15 and U16 teams all went 3-0 in their preliminary matches. The next step of State Cup is the Round of 16 which will be played on May 17 at the Saginaw Soccer Complex, 3485 McCarty Rd., Saginaw MI 48603. At 9 AM, the 13 Girls will play on Field 10, and the 14 Boys will kick off on Field 14. At 11:30 AM the 15 Boys will compete on Field 14. Then at 2 PM, the 13 Boys will play on Field 19 and the 16 Boys will battle on Field 3. Winners of their Round of 16 play will advance to the Quarterfinals to be played on May 18 at the Saginaw complex. The State Cup Semi-finals will then be held on May 31 with the Championships to be played on June 1 with all games to be in Saginaw.
*All six Vardar teams that entered the Michigan Junior State Cup Tournament are moving on past pool play and into the Quarterfinals including the U10 boys and girls, U11 boys and girls and U12 boys and girls. The next phase of Junior State Cup is the Quarterfinal Round to be held on May 18 also in Saginaw. The 10 Boys start their Quarterfinal match at 8:30 AM on Field 15 followed at 10 AM by the 12 Boys on Field 22 and the 10 Girls on Field 13. At 12 PM, the 12 Girls will play on Field 20. The 11 Boys kick off their match at 3 PM on Field 4 and finally the 11 Girls will play at 4:30 PM on Field 4.
For full schedule information on upcoming games, please go to http://events.gotsport.com/events/Default.aspx?eventid=35470 for State Cup schedules and http://events.gotsport.com/events/Default.aspx?eventid=35083 for Junior State Cup schedules. And best of luck to our Vardar Teams!
The Vardar 02 Boys earned first place in the Novi Jaguar Invitational this past weekend. Meanwhile, the Vardar 06 Boys competed in a shoot-out for the championship title and won the Crew Juniors Cup. Great job to all!
The Vardar 07 Boys played in their first-ever tournament recently and earned a finalist trophy in the U7 Novi Jaguars Invitational. Congratulations boys!