On July 8, 18 San Francisco girls, ages 11 through 12, departed on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to play soccer in Europe.
The girls are members of the San Francisco Seals Soccer Club, which has a 33-year history in the City, and has made trips to Europe almost every year for the last two decades. This year, the girls held car washes, sold lottery tickets and sought corporate sponsorship —which they got from LifeLock — along with a sponsorship from Women’s Sports Foundation, in order to raise money for the trip, which started with the club playing in the Cup No. 1 Youth Soccer Tournament held in Frederikshavn, Denmark.
After losing 4-1 in the tournament opener, the Seals came back to win their group of six teams. The Seals did not concede a goal for the duration of group play, winning three games against teams from Estonia, Sweden and Norway, while finishing another in a tie.
After getting a bye to the semi-finals, the Seals pulled out a 1-0 win against a tough, physical Norwegian team playing essentially in their backyard. In the championship game at the Frederikshavn stadium, the Seals found themselves pitted against a familiar Bay Area rival, Marin FC, but lost 3-0.
Next on the Seals’ schedule is the Gothia Cup, held in Gothenburg, Sweden. That tournament — known as the World Youth Cup — features 1,731 teams from 78 countries across 4,600 matches, with several Bay Area clubs in attendance, such as the San Francisco Vikings and SF Aftershocks.
That tournament began on Monday, and will go through Friday, July 21.
The Seals have gone 1-1 as of press time, having lost 2-0 to Fortuna FF of Sweden, and tied Germany’s Walddörfer SV, 1-1. Their next match is against Vallens IF of Sweden on Wednesday, just after noon, local time.