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Past College Showcase Commitments

Each year, NorCal Premier Soccer’s National Premier League produces a gaggle of players who make the jump to the next level of the sport: college soccer.

Whether that comes at any of the three NCAA divisions, the NAIA game, or at various community colleges, the NPL provides the springboard for local youngsters to continue playing the game they love at the collegiate level.

And one of the best ways for these players to be identified is during the NorCal College Showcase, where hundreds of coaches from across the country come to find their next stars.

“As a former college coach, I always relied on the NorCal College Showcase to make sure I had a complete picture of the Northern California talent pool,” said NorCal Premier Soccer Director of Competitions Daniel Chamberlain. “It was one of the few events each year where I could see all of the top players from a region in one place.”

In the five-year period from 2014-2018, at least 1,010 players plying their trade in NorCal’s NPL moved onto the next level after playing at the showcase. That list includes 588 girls and 422 boys for an overall average of 202 athletes per year.

While the majority of those players earned better access to an education and an unforgettable college soccer experience, some have gone on to even bigger and better things.

In 2016 Tierna Davidson played in her last showcase shortly before winning her fifth straight State Cup title with De Anza Force. Her success with her club side caught the eye of Stanford, where she’d win a national title the following year before making her international debut in 2018.

Fast forward to 2022 and Davidson is a World Cup winner and Olympic medalist just shy of the 50 cap mark with the United States Women’s National Team.

Davidson was part of the NorCal class of 2016, which sent a then-unprecedented 132 girls to college soccer programs.

The mark was topped the following year as a record 176 girls, and 260 players overall, moved onto the collegiate game after playing at the NorCal College Showcase.

On the boys side, notable NorCal College Showcase alums include Sacramento United’s Tucker Bone and Placer United’s Benji Kikanovic.

The former parlayed good play in the NPL and at the Showcase into a four year career at Air Force before he was drafted by the Seattle Sounders in the MLS SuperDraft. Though the class of 2014 attacker didn’t earn a contract, he caught on in the United Soccer League and became an integral part of two different USL teams before returning to Sacramento with the Republic in 2021.

Bone scored 10 career USL goals before retiring after suffering a season-ending injury in his first Republic campaign.

Meanwhile Kikanovic played in his last NorCal College Showcase four years after Bone before heading to Sacramento State in the fall of 2018. After two standout years in NCAA Division I soccer, the forward left school in 2020 to sign with USL side Reno 1868 FC.

Though Reno would ultimately fold at the end of Kikanovic’s first professional year, he showed enough during his short time in Nevada for the San Jose Earthquakes to sign him in early 2021.

The now 22-year-old has proved a revelation for NorCal’s only MLS club since then, scoring 10 goals in 47 appearances for San Jose.

While Davidson, Bone, and Kikanovic can be counted as some of the first successful NorCal College Showcase alums, they certainly won’t be the last.

Twice a year, thousands of players unite in a central location to demonstrate their skills for a plethora of onlooking coaches at the NorCal College Showcase.

We don’t yet know which of the players who take the field in Davis from November 12-13 and 19-20 are destined for the next level, but whoever they are, they won’t fall through the cracks thanks to Northern California’s premier talent identification event.