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Thanks to the Estudantez AZ Clube Do Futebol soccer club, soccer is becoming more popular in the Verde Valley, and recent results show that it is competitive as well.

northern AZ estudantez U17, one of the two local teams from Verde Valley soccer club Estudantez AZ Clube Do Futebol, took the gold medal at the Ahwatukee Foothills Soccer Fest at the Tempe sports complex Oct. 18 through 20. Players include, from left, top row: Daniel Ruiz, Alex Borgan, Diego Robles, Jose Aviles, Diego Santa Cruz, Jesus Delgado, Rene Ruiz, Francisco Hernandez, Jesus Dominguez, Kenny Ayres, Helios Lino and Coach Juan Carlos Aguilar; from left, bottom row: Jesus Estudillo, Ivan Aguilar, Tanner Young, Israel Diaz, Angel Avakian, Maya Rice, Sadie Foley, Jordan Rivera.Both the Northern AZ Estudantez U17 and Estudantez Boys U12 South teams took first place at the Ahwatukee Foothills Soccer Fest at the Tempe Sports Complex from Oct. 18 to 20.

The annual festival held in Tempe, Phoenix and Chandler, brings teams from around the country to compete against the best club soccer teams in Arizona. This year, 288 teams competed.

The Estudantez U17 team began the tournament with a big 4-1 win over Barcelona AZ, in which Diego Robles, a player on loan from the Salt Lake Soccer Academy, scored the first two goals, assisted by Kenny Ayers and Jesus Dominguez. Francisco Hernandez scored the team’s third goal, assisted by Jose Aviles, and then Aviles scored the final goal with an assist by Jesus Estudillo.

In the second game, Estudantez U17 tied San Tan Legacy 2-2 with goals by Robles and Aviles, assisted by Aviles and Angel Avakian, and won its third game 3-1 over Tucson Tanque Verde with goals by Hernandez, Ayers and Aviles, with two assists by Ayers and one by Estudillo.

In the Gold Medal game, Estudantez U17 beat Sereno 4-2. The first two Estudantez goals were scored by Alex Borgan, assisted by Estudillo and Hernandez, the third goal was scored by Aviles, assisted by Ayers, and the final goal was scored by Rene Diaz assisted by Dominguez.

Estudantez U17 coach Juan Carlos Aguilar, who has coached the team for seven years, was thrilled with the victory.
“We have been to many soccer tournaments as a team, and we have many victories and defeats,” he said. “Yet this tournament was the best moment and win for me as their coach.”

For the full story, please see the Friday, Nov. 29, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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  • Jason Novack

    It should be much easier to win when you borrow one of the best U17's in the state.

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