San Diego Surf 2001 Boys Win International Soccer Tournament
Youth Soccer Tournament News: The 2017 COPA CHIVAS was held from July 21st through 29th in Guadalajara, Mexico and attracted highly competitive youth soccer teams from around the world.
COPA CHIVAS is an annual international youth soccer tournament which featured youth national teams from some of the most storied clubs in North and South America as well as Europe.
One of the youth soccer teams from the USA traveled from California to compete and returned home COPA CHIVAS champions — the San Diego Surf SC 2001 team coached by Melvin Cuellar.
“We, at Surf SC, are very proud of the 2001 USSDA team that won COPA CHIVAS,” said Josh Henderson, Senior Director and Vice President of Surf SC. “They proved that team work is only accomplished by everyone working together for one common goal.”
The goal of the COPA CHIVAS is to provide youth soccer players with a professional experience of competing against other pro-academy youth teams. The 8-day trip was an opportunity to share the passion for the beautiful game and become immersed in the soccer culture of Mexico.
Cuellar took two San Diego Surf SC teams to compete in COPA CHIVAS — the second team lost in PKs in the 2002 Semi Finals.
“Winning the Copa Chivas Championship was the culmination of the coaches and players hard work and dedication for the past two years,” said Cuellar.
“The 2001 team’s success is due to the strong bonding that these players have with each other and the support of each and every parent,” said Cuellar.
“The group dynamic has made it easier for them to work as a team and not as individual players.”
“It was a great victory for our 2001s to become COPA CHIVAS Champions,” said Cody Worden, Director of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy program at Surf SC. “This was the first time I was at the COPA CHIVAS tournament and I am proud of our teams for how well they performed — and traveled internationally. #GoSurf!”
“All the players have brought their own special something, whether it’s skills, leadership, hard-work or motivation. We also have a great group of parents who are very supportive and truly believe in their children,” said Cuellar — adding, “None of these would be possible without the support of these parents.”
The teams trained in preparation for COPA CHIVAS twice a week with a personal trainer from Extreme Fitness to improve fitness and agility as well as attending regular soccer practice sessions.
“Competing in Guadalajara also required our boys to adapt to a very tight calendar of events — starting by arriving in Mexico 3 days before the tournament to adjust to the higher altitude of Guadalajara which sits 5,138 feet above sea level,” said Cuellar.
Coached by Melvin A. Cuellar, assistant coach Fernando Alvarez, and Manuel “Manny” Diaz, the Surf SC 2001 Roster included Gunner Harvey, Edgar Armando Lopez, Andrew Espinoza, Zachary McGordon, Logan Thralls, Omar Becerril, Rene Cortez, Bryan Durazo, Colin Travasos, Manuel “Manny” Diaz, Armando Haro, Jesus Salazar, Moises Aguilar, Angel Flores, Jake Tovar, Jonathan Galindo, Diego “Munoz” Rivera, Aaron Alvarez and Bryan Delgado.
The Surf SC 2002 Roster included Joseph Diaz, David Garcia, Alfredo Moran Loera, Erick Sosa, Hunter Melvin Hanes, Mateo Zazueta, Danny Anthony Nunez, Ruben Aguiniga, Diego Gonzalez, Arturo Centeno, David Guzman, Jose Salgado, Francisco Cossino Acosta, John Foltyn, Joshua Rios, Angel Iniguez and Jose David Perez.
Henderson credits Cuellar, Alvarez, and Worden for their inspiration and dedication to these talented players.