The Plantation Eagles Soccer Club boys Copa Under-15 team is heading into unchartered territory after making their best run as a group by recently winning the Florida Youth Soccer Association President's Cup in Auburndale, Florida.
"This is a team that really has come together in the last year," said coach Anis Jerbi, who also serves as technical director for the boys in the Plantation Eagles Soccer Club. "The players on this team never tasted this success in past years and it's exciting for them."
In the last two years, the group of players on the boys Copa Under-15 team were bounced out from the State Cup Tournament in Florida.
"We played at a high level in regionals and continued to improve against some good competition in the President's Cup," Jerbi said.
The Eagles went 4-0-1 in the President's Cup, including four consecutive wins after opening with a tie. The first match saved the Eagles season and gave them hope after rallying in the second half and tying the score with less than five seconds remaining. The Eagles ended the game in a tie and provided themselves an opportunity without a loss to play in the finals. The Eagles defeated competitive soccer clubs throughout the President's Cup, including top competitors from Kendall and Weston.
The Eagles will turn their attention to the national stage as they represent Florida for Region 3 in a tournament in Alabama from June 12-15. The Eagles will have three other teams in their bracket. The tournament championship would allow the Eagles to continue their season against national competition in South Carolina.
"The expectation is to play competitively and continue to put in the time in practice on the field and in preparation to achieve more success," Jerbi said.
According to Jerbi, the Eagles program emphasizes development on the field and the experience of winning at tournaments or playing in finals has helped the players. The Eagles reached the finals of the Thanksgiving Classic in November and won the Sarasota Tournament in December.
Jonathan Gomes has been an integral part of the success for the boys Copa Under-15 team. Gomes, the goal keeper, is also a member of the American Heritage School junior varsity team in Plantation.
Zachary Chisholm, who holds down the center defensive midfield position, has been one of the most consistent and top performers. Chisholm plays soccer for West Broward High School.
Jerbi noted the Eagles Under-15 team had several newcomers playing together for the first time entering the season and the team as a collective group has made the strides needed as they compete for spots on their high school teams.