Continuing a great spring run, the FC Wisconsin U11s and U13s tore it up in Racine over the weekend of April 22-23.
FC Wisconsin has a U11 Milwaukee team and a U11 Madison team, with players competing in their own teams and occassionally every season coming together. In Racine, the U11s were a mix of Milwaukee and Madison based-players and the ease with which they came and played together clearly showed they train under the same methodology. All of the players exhibited good control on the ball and were able to use their skill and vision to solve problems within the games. The most impressive part of the weekend from a development perspective was their movement off the ball to create space for themselves and their teamates. This great game understanding resulted in an avalanche of goals every game throughout the event. Jessica Howard was particularly good in the final, facing up and beating players 1v1 out wide and finding Rihanna Kern making runs inside the box for two one touch volleys that resulted in beautiful goals. Anna Ohm showed good composure in the backline, finding the feet of the players in front of her to help the team keep clear possession and build from defense. Addy Frantz was back in action after resting an injury for the previous few weeks, and she proved to be ready with quick combination play and a nice ability to link up with her teammates. Kate Vanden Berg also showed great confidence on the ball - getting forward from outside back and using her body to defend well to eliminate any dangerous chances. Overall, the group was dominant in possession, dominant in chances and goals, and showed a great style of play and game understanding being internalized within each player.
The U13s, also a mix of Madison and Milwaukee players this weekend, were also undefeated on the weekend, and after tying their first game on a difficult field, finished the weekend with 2 wins and very strong performances. The U13 group has proved they have good spatial understanding of the game and have the ability to open up the field and make teams chase them and the ball for extended periods. The first game was against an athletic and spirited team who kept working hard despite the lopsided possession percentage, and their defensive work rate was just enough to keep the possession from translating into goals. The U13s learned the hard way to stay focused and tuned on until the whistle blows, allowing the opposing team to score on a misplayed goal kick in the last minute to tie the game - their only chance on goal. In the remaining 2 games the U13s set a strong tone from the beginning to the end, with 2 dominant wins. After learning from day 1, they not only kept the ball, but better looked to penetrate through combination plays, slip passes, and by dribbling at defenders and taking chances going to goal. Izzy Arnold played in midfield and at outside back and connected well with her teammates in both positions. Her movement off the ball and communication helped her to be a good option to solve high pressure repeatedly. Lucia Englund also had a strong weekend getting forward from outside back and working to quickly recover in transition to get into a good covering position for her teammates. Overall, the team showed more progress and growth, and exciting glimpses for the future.
After another spring weekend, FC Wisconsin teams at multiple age groups continue to show dominant possession and game understanding, with skill getting sharper and sharper each week!