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2013 McGuire Cup Preview | Pateadores ANA (CA-S)

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Region IV - Pateadores ANA (CA-S)

How they got to Nationals
Few teams had a journey to Overland Park filled with as many twists and turns as Pateadores ANA (CA-S).
Many of the players on the squad have been playing together at the club for about four years. Prior to this run, they won a 2011 Cal South State Cup and advanced to the Region IV quarterfinals. Last season, they came up short in the State Cup semifinals.
This year, Pats ran into another test in the State Cup semifinal but came out on top in a penalty shootout to advance to the final. However, they fell to Pumas Premier Academy (CA-S) in the final before advancing to Regionals as a wildcard team.
Heading into the final day of pool play at the Region IV Championships, Pats were in good position to advance out of Pool B. That changed with 10 minutes to go in their game, when they conceded two goals to lose, 2-1, and appeared to be heading out of the tournament based on a head-to-head tiebreaker. However, a last-minute equalizer in the other Pool B game resulted in a three-way tie atop the group that meant Pats and Idaho Rush - Nike (ID), the team that had just beaten the Pats, would have a penalty shootout to decide who would advance.
"We went from going into the last 10 minutes of that match looking like ‘OK, we might win the group,’ to ‘Oh my God, we might have just gotten eliminated,’" Pateadores head coach Michael Lussier said. "When our game ended, my guys were in tears because they thought that was our last game."
Two days later, Pats won the shootout to advance to the semifinals, which was a rematch of their State Cup final loss to Pumas. This time, the result would favor Pats, as they won to move into the final against the hometown side, HSC Bulls 94 Ka'ula (HI). In front of 2,000 local fans cheering on the Bulls, the California side claimed a 2-1 comeback victory behind a pair of goals from Luke Kadillak to claim the title and move on to play for the McGuire Cup.
"Having this chance now to go and compete for the McGuire Cup, it means a lot to all of us," Lussier said. "I think it’s a compliment to all the hard work the guys have put in and all the coaches at the club. We worked really hard for this chance, and I do think the guys are deserving of it."
Team Strength
Coach Lussier: "Without a doubt, our chemistry is our strength. This is a group of guys that are really close. They’re good players, but they’re really good guys, too. The overall vibe in the team is that the guys just love playing together. They don’t want to stop playing together as a group. I think our chemistry is our strength. That will take you a long way in this sport."
Key Players
Luke Kadillak scored both goals in the comeback victory in the Region IV final, but Lussier didn’t point out any individual player and said his team is consistently strong across the board. "We’re very balanced. There’s no star on our team anywhere," he said. "Every player from top to bottom is a strong player, and they all have good attitudes."
College Programs
Conner Bevans – Gonzaga
Jack Birkenbeuel – UC Irvine
Kevin Engesser – Loyola (Chicago)
Lester Hayes – UC Irvine
Coach Background – Michael Lussier
Playing experience
o   1993 - 1994, California State University Fullerton (1993 NCAA Division I Final Four)
Coaching experience
o   USSF B License
o   NSCAA Advanced National
o   1998 - 2012, Men's Head Coach, Servite High School (Career wins record holder)
Pateadores ANA Schedule
Tuesday, July 23
9:30 a.m.
vs. Chicago Fire Academy
Field 1
Wednesday, July 24
8:30 a.m.
vs. Lehigh Valley United 93
Field 6
Friday, July 26
9:30 a.m.
vs. Plantation Copa
Field 8
Saturday, July 27
6:30 p.m.
McGuire Cup Final
Field 1