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New Jersey teams bunched at top

Published: February 8, 2011

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The F.C. Copa Soccer Club in New Jersey has a simple in-house rule.

“We don’t allow any of our club teams to turn down a request from another Copa team,” said U18 coach Roberto Aguas.

Aguas would know. His U18 Forza team, ranked No. 1 in the New Jersey Region TeamRank ranking for their age group, regularly welcomes in younger teams to train with them.

girls youth club soccer players from pda chargeU17 PDA Charge competes.
That means the top team in New Jersey often prepares by sharpening its skills against 15-year-olds.

Of course, when Aguas’ group was 15 it was the 18-year-olds who welcomed them with open arms. It’s all part of the club’s cycle of player development.

“It would be easy to say, ‘there’s no upside in playing with younger teams,’ but that’s not the way our club operates,” Aguas said. “We have a different culture. We cross pollinate the age groups so they can really build as a unit. We’re not focused on winning for the sake of winning, we want to develop the players and prepare them for the next level.”

And the F.C. Copa Forza has done just that. Ben Strong, a dynamic midfielder who is extremely gifted with the ball, is heading to Virginia Tech in the fall.

Midfielder Joe Saitta is heading to Princeton while Matthew Berman will be taking his talents to Rutgers.

But before they depart, there’s still soccer to be played and titles to be won. Because of Aguas’ time spent in Spain, his soccer philosophy is heavily influenced by the style of Barcelona. The Forza keep the ball … and then, only when the time is right, they attack.

Defenders Nick DiSomma and Grant Taylor are also vital ball possession players on a team full of them.

Today’s New Jersey TeamRank also features U17 Marlboro SC Blue Lightning, U16 Match Fit Academy FC Crew, U15 Soccer Domain FC 09 Gauchos, U14 Ironbound Elite and TSF Academy.

On the girls’ side we have: U13 NJSA 04 Blast, U14 PDA Clash, U15 PDA Slammers, U16 PDA Celtic, U17 PDA Charge and U18 Hibernian Express.

See New Jersey TeamRank - Boys | Girls

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