Let the Games Begin! That’s the traditional phrase that has proclaimed the start of the AYSO National Games since its inception in 1988. 26 years later, those words still start off the week-long celebration that brings together AYSO players, volunteers and parents from across the country.
The Games were the brainchild of Mike Michalski, then Area 1B Director. Michalski had been putting on successful tournaments for California players, coaches, and referees for years. He wanted to share the good times and fun with more players and volunteers. And so he made a proposal that paved the way for the National Games.
The AYSO National Games start with pool play and the structure of the age groups will be determined by the number of teams entered and may be organized into separate flights. Ideally, each pool will consist of at least six teams, and there will be no more than four pools in each bracket. The make-up of each pool will be determined by a random draw, and the teams will be assigned to provide as much inter-Section play as possible. At the end of pool play, eight teams from each bracket will advance to the Championship round. If there are four pools, the top two teams in each pool will advance. If there are three pools, the top two teams in each pool plus the two third place teams with the most points will advance. If there are two pools, the top four teams in each pool will advance. If there is only one pool, the top eight teams will advance.
In AYSO, the United States is broken down into sections, those sections are broken down into areas and the areas are broken down into regions, El Cajon is Region 168. El Cajon is the only region in all of area V to have a team going to the National Games and there are only a handful of teams going from Section 11 which makes up most of Southern California.
Our National Team is headed up by Darrin Schallock. Darrin has been around soccer since he was a kid, including playing pick-up soccer with Chilean National Team players when he lived in Chile. Darrin has coached baseball and soccer for most of his life, but now only focuses on soccer.
Our National Team is already making headlines winning the Parkway Indoor season with 0 losses and a +94 goal differential.
The National Games start June 29th and go through July 7th in Torrance and Riverside California.
For more information on the National Games, go to AYSO.org.
Good luck team.