San Jose-Area Club Qualified for Finals Week Through Difficult Group
Before this season, De Anza Force’s U-17/18 team had qualified for the Development Academy Playoffs one time in 2008-09. In its second postseason this year, De Anza Force advanced through a group that included CASL Chelsea FC and the LA Galaxy and found some late-game heroics to clinch a spot in its first Finals Week in Houston.
How they got to Finals Week: De Anza Force’s trip through the group stage at the Academy Playoffs was not for the faint of heart. Trailing by two goals in its opening game against CASL Chelsea FC, De Anza Force pulled within one goal in the 82nd minute and then grabbed the equalizer in the second minute of stoppage time for a crucial point. Following that match, De Anza played 75 minutes of scoreless soccer against the LA Galaxy before notching the winner in the 76th minute and holding on for the three points. In its final match against Vardar SC Freiburg, De Anza Force went up early and added a 90th-minute insurance goal to secure its place at Finals Week.
Finals Week and Academy Playoffs History: The De Anza Force U-17/18 team’s only previous postseason trip was the 2008-09 Academy Playoffs. De Anza Force’s U-15/16 team advanced to the Academy Playoffs in 2009-10 and 2010-11, and the 2009-10 team clinched a Finals Week spot.
2011-12 Regular Season: Runner-up in the Northwest Division, De Anza Force claimed a record of 9-4-1 and a mark of 17-9-3 overall. De Anza lost twice by a 3-2 margin against Finals Week Group 1 opponent Vancouver Whitecaps FC despite leading in both division matches.
About head coach Eric Yamamoto: This upcoming college season marks Yamamoto’s 22nd year coaching at Santa Clara University. Yamamoto serves as associate head coach to a program he helped build as a player from 1986-89. He was an All-American goalkeeper on Santa Clara’s 1989 NCAA co-National Championship team. Yamamoto has worked with many of world’s best goalkeepers as a member of the U.S. National Team coaching staff. He has coached numerous U.S. National Youth Teams on both the boys and girls sides and the U.S. Women’s National Team. He served on the U-23 US Men’s National Team staff as its goalkeeper coach in 2012.
About De Anza Force: Founded in 1999, De Anza Force has emerged as a nationally-recognized club in the Bay Area. The club has helped place numerous youth soccer players into Division I colleges and universities for the past 13 years.
Scoring Leader in Academy Playoffs: Max Ornstil (2)
Scoring Leader During 2011-12 Regular Season: James Huffer (8)
Inside the Numbers: De Anza Force is unbeaten in five straight games entering Finals Week … Of those five games, four have been shutout wins and one has been a draw … De Anza Force pieced together a 10-game unbeaten streak from December 2011 to February 2012 … In the Academy Playoffs, four of the team’s five goals were scored in the second half of games.
Did you know … Assistant coach Shaun Tsakaris played in 24 games with the U.S. U-20 National Team … He played for the Rochester Raging Rhinos from 2003-05.
U-17/18 De Anza Force 2011-12 Finals Week Schedule:
Home team listed first
Monday, July 16: De Anza Force vs. Colorado Rapids, 8 p.m. CT
Wednesday, July 18: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. De Anza Force, 9 p.m. CT
Friday, July 20: North Carolina Fusion vs. De Anza Force, 8 p.m. CT
Sunday, July 22: TBD