Fusion take second in San Francisco Cup
The Carson Fusion Capital Soccer Club under-12 boys team placed second at the prestigious San Francisco Cup last weekend at Golden Gate Park.
The Fusion beat several top California teams and finished ahead of the Northern California State Cup champions.
“The San Francisco Cup is one of the most competitive tournaments on the West Coast,” Fusion coach Kevin Updegrove said. “To play for the championship is a tribute to the hard work and effort our boys have given all year.”
The Fusion were playing without the heart of the team, midfielder Adam Updegrove, who fractured a leg in a league game four days before the event. Updegrove attended the event in a wheelchair.
Carson opened with a 2-0 win over Hayward, currently ranked No. 18 in California. John Nuthall scored with a flick on shot off a pass from Blake Moreland and Alejandro Jimenez scored on a shot from 12 yards that went through the goalie’s legs. Goalie Chris Browne combined with defenders Brandon Briggs, Jorge Guevara and Derek Sanchez to post the shutout.
“We beat a strong team,” coach Joe Briggs said. “This win showed the boys they are among the elite teams in the West, even with one of our best players in a wheelchair.”
Game two was a physical struggle with the California State Cup champion JCSC Chivas. The Fusion fell behind 3-0 at halftime, but fought back before losing 4-2.
The first goal came on a strong Nuthall strike off an Eddie Vega assist and the Chivas gave up an own goal after heavy pressure from the Fusion. Midfielders Moreland, Brady Roser and Jimenez and stopper Luis Aguilar all played well.
The Fusion came back to advance to the semifinals with a 2-0 win over the MVLA Gunners. Roser scored the first goal on the rebound after a shot by Steven Fowzer. Moreland scored the second goal on a penalty kick late in the first half after Nuthall was taken down in the box.
Browne, Briggs, Sanchez, Guevara and Aguilar combined on the shutout.
In the semifinals, the Fusion beat California’s No. 14 ranked team, the Mt. Hamilton Raptors 2-1. Nuthall scored both games. The first was off a pinpoint pass from Vega and the second came on a penalty kick. Browne made several acrobatic saves to ensure the win.
The Fusion lost 7-0 in the finals to San Jose’s DeAnza Force, one of the top five teams in California.
“We beat three of the top 25 teams in California,” coach Randy Roser said. “And we finished above the Northern California State Cup champs. Second place in a tournament of this caliber is impressive for a group of kids from Carson City, Nev.”
The Fusion had a record of 21-5-3, with two league games left.
“This team is truly a force to be reckoned with,” Roser said. “We played five tournaments this spring and ended with two championships, two second place finishes and tied for first in our flight in the fifth.
“We beat the Nevada State Cup champions, four of the top California teams and another ranked team from New Mexico. Waht’s really scary is that we’ve only just begun and will only getter better from here.”