Rush Soccer was involved and present in the Arsenal Challenge in Phoenix, Ariz., through the weekend of Oct. 9-11, offering high school-age players the opportunity to play and interact with college coaches. This Regional Showcase included 13 different Rush Soccer clubs participated across two competitive teams, including players from Alaska Rush, Cedar Stars Rush of Houston, Colorado Rush, Idaho Rush, Mississippi Rush, New Mexico Rush, Northern Colorado Rush, Phoenix Rush, Rush Pikes Peak, Washington Rush, and West Texas Rush.
“The girls are given the chance to choose their own formation and positions,” Rush Soccer National College Advisory Program director Josh Tyler said. “These weekends are not about winning - granted it is always nice to win - but it is more about the players being able to take charge and build their self-confidence by playing with players they have never met. It really shows the reach and nationwide impact of The Rush."
The Regional Showcase Teams are designed to give Rush's high school age players extra opportunities to be in front of college coaches, with no tryouts, Rush Soccer players just pick a showcase that fits into their schedule and sign up.
At The Arsenal Challenge, the 2005/06 Girls team won First Place after going an unbeaten 4-0. The team included players from Alaska Rush, Colorado Rush, Idaho Rush, Phoenix Rush, Rush Pikes Peak and Washington Rush.
The 2003/04 Girls consisted of players from Colorado Rush, Cedar Stars Rush of Houston, Mississippi Rush, New Mexico Rush, Northern Colorado Rush, Rush Pikes Peak, Washington Rush and West Texas Rush. They finished with a win, a draw and a defeat, scoring nine goals in their three matches..
Various Rush Soccer players and their parents shared their thoughts following The Arsenal Challenge:
Pierson Weimer, Rush Pikes Peak: “The whole weekend was great. As players we received everything we needed and the coaching was really high quality. I feel like I learned a ton and I hope to get to do it again.”
Ella Morgades, West Texas Rush: “Rush provided a great weekend with great competition! The coaching was great and all of the players were so nice and got along very well.”
Shea Waters, Rush Pikes Peak: “I love how the unique thing about Rush Soccer is that we can bring together players we don't even know and still be able to mesh as a team and get to know each other.”
Jodi Waters, Rush Pikes Peak parent: “Rush does an amazing job of bringing together players from different clubs to create a positive soccer experience for all!”
Emily Jacobs, Rush Pikes Peak: “This was an amazing experience for us, and I wouldn’t trade this weekend for the world! It was a great way to get our team out there and for college coaches to see us. All of us enjoyed ourselves and made a bunch of great memories and new friends!”
Whitney Mason, Rush Pikes Peak parent: “It was a wonderful experience and one they will remember!”
Taylin Laws, Washington Rush: “I loved getting to go down to Arizona and meeting people from different states that love soccer, and I loved to see how good all players are across the country.”
Shanna Garcia, Rush Pikes Peak: “This weekend was by far the most fun I’ve ever had playing soccer. Having motivated players and a good coach really plays a big role in a player’s self-confidence and when you have the ball at your feet.”
James Merrill, Phoenix Rush parent: “My shy daughter came out of her shell while playing with the team, even though she did not stay at the hotel (since we live in Phoenix). It was a wonderful experience and we are now looking to see if we can do another in Indianapolis or Charleston.”
Johnna Sandow, Idaho Rush parent: “This was a fantastic experience for our daughter. Although she was nervous at first, the Rush Soccer girls welcomed her with open arms and were incredibly kind. She loved the respect and tenacity shown by the players on the field, and she especially enjoyed how vocal the girls were and the direction they provided her. The autonomy given to the team to develop the line up and work together on substitutions was a unique experience that she won’t soon forget.”
Kayla Shaw, Rush Pikes Peak: “Overall, I had a great time, and would definitely play in the tournament again in the future!”
Cito Nuhn, Rush Pikes Peak parent: “It is always a great experience when players from around the country can come together and create a new team, and find new friendships and success with a new group of girls.”
With a reputation for developing elite youth players through a distinct pathway to the heights of competition, Rush Soccer began in 1997 in Littleton, Colo., and now includes more than 100 partner clubs and a nationwide membership of more than 45,000 players and growing. Dozens of Rush alumni have soared to the heights of the game, including American internationals like Lindsey Horan (USWNT, Portland Thorns) and Christian Pulisic (USMNT, Chelsea FC), Mark McKenzie (USMNT, Philadelphia Union) and many others. Currently, there is a Rush Soccer club in almost every state across America and there are more than 40 International Rush Clubs based in Africa, North and South America, Asia and Europe.