Two local teams headed to soccer nationals this weekend

TUNING UP:  Shreveport United’s 06 boys team got in good work Monday prepping for national competition as (l-r) David Rojas, Christian Lopez, Jose Gomez, and Andrew Bradford took pointers from coach Nick Flowers. (Photo by DAVID ERSOFF, Journal Sports)

By DAVID ERSOFF, Journal Sports

Two years ago the Shreveport United 03 girls blue soccer team became the first club from the area to qualify and play in a national tournament. This year, Shreveport United head coach Nick Flowers decided he was going to one up that team.

He coaches the 06 boys and the 08 girls’ soccer teams, both of whom won the 2023 Texas State Cup and punched their tickets to the U.S. Club Nationals in Commerce City, Colorado.

If you are wondering why these teams were able to compete in the Texas State Cup, it has been sanctioned by U.S. Club soccer since these teams played in the Red River National Premier League (NPL) based out of Dallas.

The boys’ event begins Saturday and continues through next Wednesday. The girls begin their nationals Tuesday and go through next Saturday.

The 06 boys team came in third place in the NPL this year but came out swinging when the Texas State Cup came around, going 2-1 in the event, with both victories being against the top two teams in the NPL. This group is no stranger to success, having won the Louisiana State cup three years in a row at the U11-13 age groups.

The boys’ schedule begins Saturday at 9:30 CT against STA Morris United Soccer Club 06 boys ECNL, from New Jersey. Their second game is Sunday at 3:30 CT, when the local boys take on Eagles Soccer Club 06 boys ECRL, out of Southern California. Their last pool game is set Monday at 11:30 a.m. CT, against Sporting Springfield 06 Atletico Madrid, from Missouri.

The top four teams advance to the semifinals, to be played Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. CT, the winners advancing to the finals a day later at 11:30 a.m. CT.

The 06 Boys roster includes Alexander Baltov, Andrew Bradford, Brett Pernell, Carson Cormany, Chase Clutter, Christian Lopez, Daniel Lee, David Rojas, Franklin Delk, Garrett Gulett, Gordon Brown, Jacob Chambliss, Jose Gomez, Lee Ballard, Reese Wren, Tucker Stratton, Turner Hubbard and Zian Toves. Baltov and Chambliss had prior commitments and will not be able to attend. They will be missed.

The 08 girls had a strong 2022-23 season, coming in second in the NPL league before winning the Texas State Cup. Like the boys, they went 2-1. They also won the U.S. Youth Louisiana State Cup. In the Regionals, the girls advanced out of pool play, eventually falling to a strong Tennessee state champion team 2-1 in the quarterfinals. There aren’t many teams that can say they won two different states’ State Cup in the same season. These girls also won the 2022 Louisiana State Cup.

All the girls’ pool games are at 1:30 p.m. CT. On Tuesday they play against Elevation 08G Peak Elite, from Colorado. Their second game is Wednesday against Soccer Vision Academy 08G from Ohio. The last pool play game is on Thursday against St Louis Scott Gallagher 08G ECNL, from Illinois.

The top four teams advance to the semifinals, to be played Friday at 11:30 a.m. CT, the winners advancing to the finals on July 22 at 11:30 a.m. CT.

The 08 girls’ roster: Madeline Crawford, Payton Beloso, Peyton Lewis, Ryleigh Cram, Sarah Katherine Murrell, Kaydence Leon, Kennedy Kerr, Maddie Penwell, Ella Poole, Eryn Flowers, Georgia Gulett, Grace Shepherd, Isabella Baltov, Ali Hamic, Analeigh Turner, Cadence Keene, Carmen Gaitan, Caroline Walls and Chandler Gardner.

Due to prior commitments Baltov, Crawford, Cram and Kerr are unable to attend the Nationals. To replace those missing players Gabi Hamic, Eden Whiteman and Karsyn Best will be going with the team as guest players.

Coach Flowers was beaming with confidence after one of their final practices on Monday, saying “Both teams have pulled strong brackets, but are peaking, and are ready for the challenge.”

Look for coverage of their journey after nationals conclude.

Contact David at