NPL National Finals Preview: U-15 FC Elk Grove
Heading into a tough group that includes powerhouses from Chicago, Florida, and Long Island, FC Elk Grove should still be considered one of the favorites to claim US Club Soccer’s NPL National Championship when they kick off this week in Indianapolis.
In claiming an NPL Champions League and State Cup double, Elk Grove relied on the bedrock of their team: defense, where they allowed just five goals in Champions League play and two strikes in five State Cup knockout round games.
“Defensively, we’re pretty solid,” said coach Ben Ormsby. “We have a couple of players in the back that can really win their battles and distribute the ball well.”
But while the storyline for Elk Grove has mainly revolved around their defensive talents, don’t sleep on this team’s powerful attack.
Led by Kassandra Ceja’s NPL-leading 16 goals, Elk Grove averaged more than a goal per game in the league and the cup in doing their double.
Based on their quality on both sides of the field, FC Elk Grove head into the finals confident, though maybe with a few nerves.
“I’m expecting the girls to be really excited and nervous, that could be good, that could be bad,” Ormsby said. “I’m very confident in the girls. I think they’re confident in their game. They know how to play the game and they know what it takes to win.
“I wouldn’t say that we’re going to go in there and win it all, but I would say that we’re going to go in there and compete and hopefully take it all,” he added.”
Elk Grove kick off their first game Thursday at 11:00 a.m. local time against Chicago Soccer Academy. Their full schedule can be viewed here.