Crossfire Premier again put down a marker as one of the top producers of talent in the country, with several boys’ squads traveling to Las Vegas for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and dominating competition from across the western United States. With the club’s top, non-Academy boys’ teams from the U-11, U-12 and U-14 through U-18 age groups entered in either the Western College Development Association Showcase or the concurrent Las Vegas Thanksgiving Classic, depending on the players’ ages, Crossfire Premier turned in an overall record of 24 wins, 1 draw and only 5 losses. Four of the eight teams went undefeated, and in all, the club posted an incredible +102 goal-differential, with Crossfire teams scoring 132 and conceding only 30.
Two Crossfire boys’ A teams entered in the top group of the youngest age division offered in the Las Vegas Thanksgiving Classic—the club’s U-10 and U-11 squads, the former playing up a year. Both teams are coached by Crossfire’s two US Soccer Development Academy head coaches, and Bernie James’ U-10 play-ups definitely rose to the occasion, battling to a 2-2 record against the older out-of-state competition while turning in a +10 goal-differential over the course of the tournament. Playing at their true-age, Ralph Black’s Crossfire Premier BU-11 A team ran out to a 5-0 record and took the tournament final 3-2 over L.A. Galaxy partner West Coast FC.
In the U-12 age division, Black again had his Crossfire Premier BU-12 A squad firing on all cylinders, running up a +25 goal-differential while dominating group play before dropping a heartbreaking one-goal decision in the final to the Barcelona USA 02 Academy.
In WCDA action, the Crossfire Premier BU-14 A squad took on all comers and emerged victorious, earning group-play wins over FC Dallas El Paso, New Mexico Rush and Players SC (NV), before defeating Colorado Rapids-affiliate Downtown LVSC Academy 7-2 in the final.
From U-15 and up there were no finals for WCDA play, but in most age groups Crossfire Premier still ran away from the competition. In fact, coach Bernie James’ Crossfire Premier BU-15 A team was as impressive as any team in Las Vegas for the weekend, winning their group after three WCDA victories over FC Dallas El Paso, New Mexico Rush and Santa Barbara SC by a combined score of 13-1. In the U-16 WCDA competition, coach Andy Schmetzer’s BU-16 Academy Reserves also went undefeated over the weekend, posting three consecutive wins to top their group. Mark Collings’ BU-17 Academy Reserves went 2-1, accumulating a +7 goal-differential over the course of three matches in front of a number of college coaches. The oldest Crossfire Premier squad in attendance, Collings’ BU-18 Academy Reserves turned in a 1-1-1 record. Two players from Collings’ teams also participated in WCDA identification events, with a player taking part in each of the WCDA All-Star game and the All-Academic game.
Next up for the club is a return to US Soccer Development Academy play, with the Academy Showcase taking place in Sarasota the week of December 9-15.