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Slammers FC captures national title

Boys' U16 soccer squad, featuring Laguna Beach resident Brian Vail, wins 2010 U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships.

July 30, 2010|By Mike Sciacca, michael.sciacca@latimes.com

The Slammers FC boys' U16 soccer team, which includes Brian Vail of Laguna Beach, won the boys' 1993 division title Sunday at the 2010 U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships at Overland Park, Kan.

The tournament began July 21 and concluded with division championship games.

Slammers FC defeated RSL Florida 93 of Tampa, 1-0, in the division final Sunday. The teams first met in the tournament July 23 with RSL Florida scoring a 1-0 victory in Group A play.

Slammers FC opened the tournament July 21 with a 1-0 win over Waza FC 94 Black of Rochester, Mich., then came back July 22 to blank Blast FC of Columbus, Ohio, also in Group A action.

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Vail, 16 and a senior-to-be at St. Margaret's Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano, is a defensive midfielder. He's part of a Newport Beach-based Slammers FC team that draws players from cities throughout Orange County, including Newport Beach, Corona del Mar, Laguna Beach, San Juan Capistrano and Los Alamitos, and also from Temecula.

"Brian's very athletic, very tough," Slammers FC Coach George Larsen said. "We were able to use him to neutralize the threat on the other team. Offensively, he was a big piece in helping us build our offensive possessions and our attack."

The Slammers FC U16 team is Vail, defenders Greg Allen, Kevin Caskey, Michael Heckmuller, Ethan Morrow, Derek Paterson and Andrew Taormina, goalies Daniel Boyer and Connor Gaal, midfielders Mason Case, Kyle Chin, Joseph Cortes and Jack Gorab, and forwards John McBean, Eduardo Oliva Ruiz and Cameron Waymire.

Chin scored the winning goal in the title match.

Larsen said that Allen, Case, Gaal, Gorab and McBean all were members of the Corona del Mar High boys' soccer team that won a CIF championship earlier this year.

The Slammers FC U16 boys team is ranked No. 1 in both the state and Region 4 at gotsoccer.com. The team won its division at the U.S. Soccer Youth Soccer Far West Region IV Championships on June 27 in Albuquerque, N.M.

"It's been kind of an up-and-down season," Larsen said. "We had a tough fall but came up with quite a run down the stretch. We won the Thanksgiving Surf Cup, regionals and now, nationals. The boys seemed motivated and we were healthy coming down the stretch, and that's important. I'm thrilled about what they've accomplished."

The squad will compete at the San Diego Surf Cup tournament in Del Mar beginning Saturday. Slammers FC takes on Regional Football RFC 93, the sixth-ranked boys' U16 team in Virginia, at 9:40 a.m., then plays Tulsa Soccer Club '94 Black, the No. 1-ranked U16 team in Oklahoma, at 3 p.m.

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