I was bouncing around YouTube and I came upon this video from last year’s US Youth Soccer Nation Championship, U15 Girls bracket. I’ll admit it’s a bit late to post about something like this, but it was so bizarre, I couldn’t resist.
The team in black has already clinched a spot in the final match. So, by most accounts (this video and spectator accounts), they primarily played keep away among their defenders while down one goal in order to, allegedly, lose and face a weaker opponent in the final. They also could have just been resting up for the final since it was pushing 100 degrees most days they were playing.
Now the video is clearly trying to make the point that the girls were poor sports, which could be argued. However, there had to be more. So I searched around and finally found a thread at BigSoccer talking about this match and the U15 Eclipse. There were a number of posters, including ex Eclipse players and spectators who were at the match. The parents of the team that was being bounced out of the final match by the Eclipse losing were upset. Even worse, one of these parents actually charged onto the field and had to be arrested. The police had to escort the Eclipse players onto their bus!
Read the entire thread over at BigSoccer if you have the time. A lot of issues are touched on, though I’m not sure you’ll come away with any better feeling about what the Ecplise did or didn’t do. Were they just preserving their starters and energy for the final or were they exhibiting poor sportsmanship? This was the national championship we’re talking about, not some local league tournament. Does that matter? Was it wrong of the coach to tell his girls to rest, take the loss, and look ahead to the final? I’m not sure there is any right answer here.