Illinois State Cup weekend was a successful one for local Chicago Fire Juniors clubs, as five sides took home championship honors in their respective age groups over the course of the event hosted in Rockford, Ill.
On the boys side, the 2003 CFJ City U-14 boys side coached by Nate Downing took down Roadrunners Downers Grove in the championship match by a score of 4-1. Elsewhere, the 2006 CFJ City Pre-Academy boys were 4-2 winners against Magic North Pre-Academy courtesy of goals from Easton Bogard (2), Mizael Arias, and Stanisa Kalicanin. Coach Mike Mauro’s 1999 CFJ City Red squad were championship runners up to FC United after a matched that finished 2-0.
Three CFJ South girls teams were also crowned state champions on the weekend. Kiara Desiderio’s five goals helped lead the 2006 Premier Girls side to a 10-0 victory over Chicago CSA Real Madrid 06, with goals also coming from Bella Berta, Carisma Rosales, and Lillee Nugent. The 2003 Premier girls were 1-0 winners over Chicago Inferno courtesy of a game-winning finish from Megan Hutchinson. Additionally, the 2002/03 Red girls were 6-3 winners over Rockford Raptors FC thanks to goal-scorers Kiarra Pralle (3), Kayleigh Hanlon, Ryann Anderson, and Laci Jerkatis.
Next up on the CFJ calendar are the US Youth Soccer Region II Championships, held from June 23-28 in Sioux Falls, SD. Alongside the 2003 and 2006 State Champion teams (the 2006 sides don't begin regional play until U-12), the CFJ South U-19s will also be attending Regionals based on their success in winning the U19 USYS National League.
For more information on the 2017 Illinois State Cup, visit illinoisyouthsoccer.org/StateCup/AboutStateCup.