The US Youth Soccer National Championship Series Eastern Regional Championships will take place from June 27-July 2 in Barboursville, WV. Leading up to the event, EDP will be profiling several of the qualified teams and looking at their journey to this point. The next team featured in the “Road to Regionals” series is Real Jersey FC 2005 (NJ), which earned its Regionals berth through its performance in the US Youth Soccer National League EDP Mid Atlantic Premier I Conference.
After finishing third at the US Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships last year, Real Jersey FC 2005 has been focused on one thing—getting back to Regionals. Only this time, Real Jersey intends to win it.
“Last year’s third-place finish was heartbreaking in the moment, but after time we were really happy to have done so well in our first trip to Regionals,” Head Coach Greg Ruttler noted. “The team is driven to qualify for Nationals this year. That has been our goal all season.”
The top-ranked team in New Jersey (and No. 3 in the nation), Real Jersey won the US Youth Soccer National League EDP Mid Atlantic Premier I Conference with a 7-2-0 record, with six of those victories coming by one goal. The competitive nature of the league is something Real Jersey is used to and expected, and it prepared the squad well for the type of opponents it will face at Regionals.
Real Jersey is also encouraged by its performances in tournament play. The team has reached the semifinals or better in every tournament it has entered over the past year and won the top bracket at the EDP Cup Spring event over Memorial Day weekend.
“Our National League Conference was very tough; every game felt like a final,” Ruttler recalled. “We are very happy that in the last three months we have been playing our best soccer and will be going into Regionals with confidence.”
One of the reasons for that confidence is the talent on Real Jersey’s roster. The team is solid on both sides of the ball, creating matchup nightmares for opponents. Attacker Anthony Perdomo creates an incredible amount of scoring chances, while two-way midfielder Brett Hanaoka is the defensive anchor who never comes off the field.
It all adds up to a team that Ruttler feels good about as it heads to Regionals.
“We’re excited to play three tough teams (at Regionals),” he said. “We’d like to improve on our third-place finish from last year and qualify for Nationals.”
Founded in 1999, Elite Development Program Soccer (EDP) is one of the largest organizers of youth soccer leagues and tournaments in the U.S. EDP operates youth leagues for boys and girls ages 9-19, conducts a Futures program for players ages 7-11, and operates U20/23 men’s and women’s leagues. EDP also runs over 20 tournaments each year. One of the major priorities of EDP’s leagues and tournaments is to enable soccer players to reach their full potential, with an emphasis on attending college. More than 3,500 teams participate in EDP’s leagues and more than 170,000 players compete in EDP tournaments annually. For more information on EDP, visit www.edpsoccer.com.