The Fraser Valley U-15 boys soccer team returned from the Arizona sun with a strong finish at the annual Phoenix Cup Worldwide Premier Showcase Event.
The event, which ran from March 22 to 24, saw 270 male and female teams from eight different age groups hit the pitch.
A Fraser Valley team with five Chilliwack players — Tobi Ragehr, Andrew Hajiadem, James Bartha, Malakai Moore, Jackson Lau — was slotted in the U-15 diamond group.
Ragehr captained the team as they opened the tournament with a 1-1 draw against Arizona’s Real Salt Lake Academy on March 22.
The club dominated on March 23, with a 2-0 win over Arizona’s SC Del Sol and then a 3-0 win over Arizona’s West Valley club.
Those three results left the Fraser Valley squad with a 2-1 record in the round robin, and a first place finish in the A bracket of the U15 diamond group. The first place finish then set up Fraser Valley for a division final match against Phoenix Rising FC from Scottsdale on March 24.
Phoenix Rising FC had seven US national teamers on their roster.
The final game was close, but with just seconds left on the clock, PRFC scored to win the game and the division. Team officials were thrilled with the showing by Fraser Valley at the event, noting that no team from the region has ever reached a final in the six-year history of the Arizona-based tournament.
“I’m so proud of my players over the past few days, they have all worked so hard,” stated head coach Dave Corke.
The team also includes Chilliwack’s Roland and Frederick Mansell, but they couldn’t make the trip.