Over the the President’s Day weekend, 350 Rush Soccer players and over 40 coaches came together to compete in the Presidents’ Day Tournament (PDT) in Phoenix, Arizona. PDT is a soccer showcase hosted by SC Del Sol; the event celebrated its 40th Annual tournament this February. The tournament brought in 428 teams and 300 college coaches from 25 states this year. The Rush Select Program has been bringing together some of the top players within Rush to compete against other elite-level teams in Arizona for the past several years.
Rush players attending this event were nominated to compete on Rush Select teams following a thorough process of being nominated as top players at their local clubs, followed by an extensive identification process and camp held in November 2018. Following the November camps, coaches narrowed the list of nominees from 60 kids per age group down to 32, fielding ‘Blue’ and ‘White’ teams of 16 players per roster on the fields this weekend.
Director of Rush Select, Brian Lux, was pleased with the results of the teams as he watched 10 teams finish as tournament Champions and one more as the Finalists following their fifth game of the weekend and a semi-final PK-shootout victory just hours before the final. Eleven teams out of 22 total competed in the finals of their brackets, and several others fared very well in the consolation games on Monday morning.
Lux had this to say of the 2019 PDT experience:
“I am just excited that our kids had such a great weekend. They were well behaved on and off the fields and represented Rush and their home clubs very well. We set the bar very high this year and the players and coaches somehow managed to exceed even those expectations!”
Below is a list of the tournament champions and finalists, listed by gender and birth year:
- Girls 2001
- Girls 2002 White
- Girls 2004 Blue
- Girls 2005 Blue
- Girls 2006 Blue
- Girls 2006 White
- Boys 2003 Blue
- Boys 2004 Blue
- Boys 2004 White
- Boys 2006 Blue
- Boys 2005 Blue
More pictures, news, and updates on the weekend can be found on Rush Soccer’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, along with Instagram posts at the @rushsoccer and @rush_select accounts.
The Rush Select Program is designed to give extended opportunities to the elite level players in Rush. This allows the top players in individual clubs to play with players at and above their level. Domestically it gives older players additional opportunities to be recruited at college showcase events that perhaps their local club will not be invited to, and allow the younger players to compete against the best players in the country. The Rush Select teams also have the opportunity to travel internationally, training and playing games against local, regional and youth professional teams from various nations. There are international training programs and international tournaments of which both often include attendance to professional games including Champions League games. The immediate goal of the program is to win, so players are selected based on their ability to help the team win and not necessarily for the long term potential development. The long term goal is to identify and put players in a competitive environment for the potential selection for a Rush men’s and women’s professional team.
Some photos from the weekend: