Play 2 ECNL National Championship finalists, and multiple Champions League play-off participants in the season-opening weekend? Done. And after a 2-win opening the U15 team leads the way forward!
Play 2 ECNL National Championship finalists, and multiple Champions League play-off participants in the season-opening weekend? Done. (Photo Note: After a 2 win opening ECNL weekend in Denver, CO, the U15 team attempted to create a "shadow" ECNL logo before leaving the fields and heading back to Milwaukee.)
The 2013-2014 ECNL Midwest Conference opened play over Labor Day weekend in Colorado, as all 12 clubs came together to play 3 inter-divisional games. New in the 2013-2014 season, the Midwest Conference is divided into two divisions of six teams each (North and South). While every club will play their division rivals both home and away, teams only meet their cross-divisional opponents once. FC Wisconsin Eclipse opened its first inter-divisional weekend by facing Real Colorado, SLSG-Missouri, and Sporting Blue Valley.
Playing in what many consider the most difficult conference in the ECNL, it is a tall task to play 3 games in 3 days, on the road, and in altitude. This did not stop the U15s from starting the season by showing that they will be conference championship contenders. After a tough 0-3 loss against Real Colorado on the opening day, the U15s rebounded with a gritty 2-0 win over St. Louis Scott Gallagher - Missouri and a 3-0 win against Sporting Blue Valley.
The U18 FC Wisconsin Eclipse team also had a very positive showing over the weekend, with a well earned 0-0 tie against ECNL 2013 North American Cup Finalist St. Louis Scott Gallagher - Missouri, and a tight 0-2 loss to ECNL Champions League National Finals participant Sporting Blue Valley. Both results were huge improvements from previous years, and indicators that the U18s have made significant strides over the past 12 months.
The U16s and U17s competed well, but finished 0-3 in close but difficult games. While the U17s faced 2013 ECNL North American Cup finalist Sporting Blue Valley, the U16s dropped close games to ECNL 2013 Champions League National Finalist Real Colorado and ECNL 2013 Champions League participant Sporting Blue Valley.
In the ECNL there is never an easy game; it is the arena where the next generation of college players are forged. FC Wisconsin Eclipse continues this journey with another road match-up on September 8 - where the club will face sister-club Eclipse Select.