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Apr, 2021

Team Chicago 2004 Elite Advances to the USYS Illinois State Cup Finals!

Paced by a new focus and work ethic under new head coach Marcelo Galvao, Team Chicago’s 2004 Elite soccer team has posted a record-setting, banner year in 2020-2021. They earned a spot in the finals for the USYS Illinois State Cup for the second time in team history. During the past 5 years, the 2004’s have made it to the semi-finals or better. They also qualified for the National Premier League Finals to be held in Denver, Colorado, July 8-12.

The 2004 Elite team currently holds a record of 10-2-4, setting an all-time best for most wins in a season. In the team’s inaugural season in the NPL, they posted a 4-0-1 record in pool play, never surrendering a goal, and winning the league championship. Led by a plethora of offensive weapons, the team has scored over 55 goals this season, shattering all previous totals.

When asked about the season’s success, forward Coco Casey (Waubonsie Valley ‘22) stated, “The biggest difference for our team this year has been our team’s mindset. Getting everyone ready before a game and having people willing to give 110% effort every second of the game has truly benefited our team. I have seen improvement from individuals on our team, some have come back from major injuries and have kept a positive mindset to get back to the field of play. I am so proud of this team this season and how far we have come.”

The 2004 Elite team has been known for their defensive prowess. Anchored by goalkeeper Sam McPhee (Oswego East ‘23), and her wall of defenders, they have secured 7 shutouts this season. Defender Kaylee Bannack (Metea Valley ‘23) added, “Even with all the challenges this past year has brought our team, we have always faced them head-on. Through all the adversity whether it be our new coaching staff, the pandemic, or even the weather at some points, we all have done our best, and these experiences have made us stronger. I am so proud to be a part of this team where everyone has each other’s backs, and soccer can be a place where we can do something we love. I am proud to be a part of this team and to play for the seasons to come.”

Moreover, the team’s success continues off the field. In the classroom, their collective GPA is 4.10. Many of the players take advanced placement courses to help prepare for college. The 2004’s played an integral role in the 2020 Team Chicago Thanksgiving Meal Outreach where they helped to raise $1500 to purchase over 500 perishable items for 2 local food pantries.

The team camaraderie has offered the players a unique opportunity. Midfielder Brooke Miller (Neuqua Valley ‘22) relayed, “Every day we worked hard, and it showed as we improved from the beginning of the National League Midwest Conference, to becoming NPL League Champions, to reaching the State Cup final.  As a team, I think we connect well with each other on and off the field, and that gives us an advantage as we continue to move towards the goals we set at the beginning of the season.”

We wish nothing but continued success for the 2004 Elite team as they complete their season and travel to national tournament play. Follow the team on twitter at @04Whiskers!

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