The inaugural San Francisco Mayor’s Cup presented by Vanguard Properties concluded with the most anticipated matchup of the fledgling youth soccer tournament, and it did not disappoint.
In the Under-19 Super Division final at Crocker-Amazon, the San Francisco Glens shocked the Folsom Lake Earthquakes — currently ranked second in the state — 1-0.
Forward Jose Madrigal, who also serves as the captain for June Jordan’s varsity, put the underdogs on top in the seventh minute. After hauling in a through ball from Glens teammate and Lick-Wilmerding midfielder Felipe Goggin, Madrigal broke away from the Folsom Lake back line to score.
“Felipe got me the ball and I got behind the defense,” said Madrigal. “The goalie came out and I beat him one-on-one.”
From the outset, the physical differences between the two teams were clear. The imposing Earthquakes possessed a size advantage, while the 20th-ranked Glens were missing star striker Declan O’Flynn; the Sacred Heart Cathedral forward was out with injury.
As a result, the San Francisco club entered the match needing to express on the field that they were outmanned but not intimidated.
That message arrived via Madrigal’s goal, and was reinforced a few minutes later. Another June Jordan stalwart — forward Diego Sanchez — unleashed an ambitious shot from approximately 30 yards out that missed the post by mere inches. Suddenly, the visitors were on notice that the Glens’ initial salvo was no fluke.
Though Folsom Lake controlled possession for the majority of the game, the Glens made the most of their opportunities with the ball. Sanchez almost tapped in a cross headed for the back post in the second half, but the ball was just out of his reach.
With fatigue setting in during the closing minutes, the Glens relied on an organized defensive shell to ward off a retaliatory series of barrages from the visitors.
Goalkeeper Mateo Peña Sanchez (no relation to Diego) — who the Glens elevated from their Under-17 team for the tournament — was up to the task in the final. The Leadership High School stopper saved five shots and kept the clean sheet.
Combined with fellow goalkeeper Zach Thomas, who attends Sacred Heart Cathedral and also moved up from the U-17s this weekend, the pair conceded just two goals in five games.
The Glens’ performance was even more impressive considering Folsom Lake’s run of recent results. The Earthquakes’ state-wide reputation has grown since winning three prestigious club tournaments last season — the San Diego Surf College Cup Showcase, the MVLA Bay Area Fall Cup and the Davis Legacy Premier Cup — as well as earning a semifinal finish in the the US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships.
“We have a diverse and talented group of players from so many different neighborhoods of San Francisco — Sunset, Excelsior, you name it. It’s great to see them grow on the field together,” said Glens U-19 head coach Benkay Kajihara, who was assisted by Bill Chu. “We’re proud to have represented the city well in this tournament.”
The U-19 Glens will now turn their attention toward league play in the NorCal NPL as well as the State Cup tournament, which begins next month.
“We’re improving every game,” Madrigal said. “We’re starting to build our confidence in our brotherhood and grow from there.”
At the Glens’ U-19 level, most of the players are high school seniors banking on big seasons to garner attention from college scouts or earn a call-up to the club’s first team in the USL League Two. Last season, the Glens’ U-19s sent five players to college programs, namely right back Eric Pearce, the Lowell alum who is entering his freshman season at UCLA.
“This team has been on an upward trajectory since the spring,” Kajihara added. “We’re hoping to build off our recent success and get players noticed by college and professional teams to continue the Glens’ pipeline.”
The U-19 championship final capped a momentous Labor Day Weekend where over 100 teams from multiple states converged on The City for the Mayor’s Cup.
2019 SF MAYOR’S CUP PRESENTED BY VANGUARD PROPERTIES – CHAMPIONS BY DIVISION
• U-19 Boys’ Super – SF Glens E. 2001/02 Celtic Academy I NPL
• U-19 Boys’ Gold – Mustang SC 2001/02 Red (Danville)
• U-16 Boys’ Super – SF Glens E. 2004 Celtic Academy I NPL
• U-16 Boys’ Silver – Goodsam Tarimoro 2004 (SF)
• U-15 Girls’ Super – CenCal Cosmos 2005 Grey (Clovis)
• U-14 Boys’ Super – Barcelona Bay Area 2006 I (San Jose)
• U-14 Boys’ Gold – Heritage Wolves 2006 (Concord)
• U-14 Boys’ Bronze – Blitzz FC Black 2006 (Utah)
• U-13 Boys’ Super – Tahuichi FC 2007 Red (Santa Rosa)
• U-13 Boys’ Silver – SF United 2007 Select
• U-13 Boys’ Bronze – Mustang SC Rangers 2007 (Danville)
• U-13 Girls’ Bronze – SF Aftershocks 2007
• U-12 Boys’ Gold – SF United 2008 Olimpico
• U-12 Boys’ Silver – Diablo FC 2008 Academy (Concord)
• U-12 Boys’ Bronze – Liverpool Bay Area 2008 Academy III (Los Gatos)
• U-11 Boys’ Gold – FC Royale Dragons 2009 Orange (SF)
• U-11 Boys’ Bronze – Heritage Wolves 2009 (Concord)
• U-10 Boys’ Super – Diablo FC 2010 (Concord)
• U-10 Boys’ Bronze – Total Fútbol Academy 2010 Cosmos (San Fernando Valley)