'21-'22 State League - 2008

Discussion in '2008' started by AZsoccefan, Aug 4, 2021.

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Who do you think will win AZ 08 APL?

  1. CCV

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
  2. Rising Meadows

    2 vote(s)
    25.0%
  3. Excel Academy

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
  4. RSL - Markette

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. El Paso Locomotive

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. FC Arizona Olayo

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Del Sol Academy II

    4 vote(s)
    50.0%
  1. AZsoccefan

    AZsoccefan Active Member

    Alright - slow day at work. Here are my initial predictions for State League subject to change prior to the season.

    APL - by far the least amount of space between the teams. I wouldn't be surprised at all if any of the top 5 or 6 teams below wins this division. I don't think there would be any clear favorites. I could definitely see a team winning this division without a winning record (like 5-2-5 record).
    1. Excel Academy - Didn't lose any players but gained a few (including one of the Rising ECNL goalies). If they can sort out their midfield issues from last year and get the ball their speedy talent up front they can really do some damage in APL and beyond (Desert League & Regional Tournaments).
    2. Del Sol Academy II - snuck up on everyone and won State Cup. Gained a few kids from RSL ECNL and should be improved however they'll have to go against the best AZ competition every week whereas last year they didn't play the best teams until the 2nd half of the season.
    3. CCV - have most kids back although lost a few including their goalie. One of their forwards up front is a really strong player and they have some good midfielders.
    4. FC Arizona Olayo - Really good team that seems to sneak up on everyone. Won President's Cup and should compete hard for APL. Wouldn't surprise me at all if they finish much higher.
    5. Rising Meadows - Meadows is a very good coach but not sure he can repeat as APL champion after losing his 7 best players. I've heard they still have a lot of good talent but I probably wouldn't expect it to come together until later in the season once they begin to mesh.
    6. El Paso Locomotive - Pretty good team. Saw them scrimmage against some Rising teams last year. Will be competitive but I don't think they are better than the top AZ teams.
    7. RSL Markette - Turned it on at the end of the season and beat Meadows in State Cup however, I'm assuming they lost some of their players to the RSL S. EA team and Markette wasn't very competitive vs. higher level competition last season (Lost 8 of the 10 APL games and 7 of the 9 Desert League games).

    State League 1 - I see this mostly as a 2 team race although maybe Calcio might surprise.
    1. Barca Academy - Brand new team that might start slow and take some time to gel but they have a few players with ECNL/MLS talent.
    2. Rising Irwin - Have almost all of their kids back. Lost in a exciting overtime PK shootout vs. Olayo in the Prez Cup Semi-finals and beat a bunch of good teams last year (CCV, Del Sol) I expect them to continue to compete and potentially get to APL next season (although they probably could have applied and got in this year in leiu of RSL Markette).
    3. Calcio - Pretty solid team with some talented kids. Can turn it on sometimes when they need to but not usually consistent enough to win vs. good teams.
    4. Rising Ramirez - If they have most of the same team as last year, I would expect them to beat the Sandsharks for the play in game and be competitive here.
    5. East Valley NSFC - Somewhat puzzling team. Finished 2nd in SL1 and beat a pretty depleted PRFC Meadows team in Patriots Cup but got demolished in a pretty weak Prez Cup field where they only won 1 game (vs a not good RSL N. 2nd team) and got demolished by Olayo in the Q-finals.
    6. RSL So AZ Haouala - finished last in this division last season. Made it to the final of Prez cup but mostly by beating pretty weak teams (RSL N Thompson & PRFC Ramirez). I did like this teams goalie though.
    7. RSL N. Thompson - Another team with a pretty good goalie but I feel bad for him since it was target practice against him every time I saw this team play last year. I'm assuming some of their better players moved to the RSL N. EA team but perhaps if this team is a mix of Thompson & EA, they could be more competitive in this bracket.

    State League 2 - Admittedly probably the division that I've seen the least amount of teams play live so the prediction here is pretty much like throwing darts blindfolded.
    1. Sandsharks - Were pretty competitive in SL2 last season (finished 3rd). I think they tied Rising Irwin twice last year.
    2. Tuzos Academy - Tuzos usually puts good teams together. The 08's Tuzos crashed out last year (had to forfeit a bunch of games) but I wouldn't be surprised if they win the play in and end up doing OK.
    3. Rising Kassube - Have some good players but also lost a bunch (to RSL EA) from last year. If they can get it together they might be competitive in this division.
    4. Rayados AZ 08 Blue - Made it to the quarterfinals of Prez Cup before getting blasted 4-1 by Rising Irwin.
    5. Yavapai Soccer Select 08 - Finished 2nd in Open League to make it up to SL2.
    6. AZFC Tapia - finished 5th in Open League 1 to make it to SL2.
    Rising WV Gonzalez - I think this is a new team as I know next to nothing about them. West Valley recruits some good talent so they could be competitive. Probably unfair to rank them.

    Best of the Travel Teams*:
    1. Rising MLS - Lost a few players (including one of their main playmakers who moved to FL) but still has a ton of talent back. Put on an impressive showing at Man City Cup where they narrowly lost to SD Surf but controlled most of the game.
    2. Del Sol MLS - if they have the same team as last year I expect them to be improved. They gave some of the CO MLS teams a run at the end of the season.
    3. RSL MLS - Lost at least 3 of their big difference maker players to Barca Academy 07 MLS. Not sure how good they'll be.
    4. Rising ECNL - Brought in 7 new players. Should be a completely different and much improved team. Will have to be much better if they want to be competitive in the ECNL SW conference (where they have to play against several top 50 Nationally ranked teams including SD Surf, SDSC, Beach, Real SoCal and Heat).
    5. Arsenal ECNL - Struggled mightily down the stretch last year (potentially due to also playing in APL). I've heard that they also have an influx of new good players so should be exciting to watch. Have to also play in one of the toughest conferences in all of 08 Soccer (ECNL SW).
    EA RSL teams - Don't know much about the make up of them (especially the RSL S team) so would be unfair to rank them. I do know that the RSL N. team had some of the Rising Kassube players come over to it.

    *full disclosure: my kid plays on one of these travel teams so please take my opinion with a grain of salt here. I tried to not let my biases get in the way here but of course that is subjective.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
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  2. soccerdad08

    soccerdad08 New Member

    APL I Believe is won by sc del sol. Overall better coach and talent maybe Olayo gives them a run for first.


    State League 1. Will go to barça with calcio coming in a close second.
    I disagree with Ramirez beating sandsharks. Our team played sandsharks all summer and we are APL we tied twice and won 1 by a goal. Much stronger team they are fielding.


    State league 2. Will be taken by Tuzos,
    Ramirez might have a chance here also. But light advantage to tuzos.


    I get why Barcelona gets state league but why not have them work their way up from state league 2. And these state league divisions should have season 1 promotion/relegation to get the teams in the right division.
     
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  3. AZsoccefan

    AZsoccefan Active Member

    Great analysis! Anyone know when and where the playoffs games will be held.
     
  4. mbappe

    mbappe Active Member

    AZsoccefan always appreciate your insight. You managed to somehow take it up a notch this year. I watched the Del Sol II v Excel State Cup championship. Excel couldn't even get the ball past midfield to their two fast forwards. If that same Del Sol II team is back, they should take APL. The question is how many of those kids got bumped up to Del Sol MLS? If several of them did, then maybe Excel or CCV take APL. Anyone here with knowledge of how many Del Sol II kids are now full time MLS?

    I understand why you put Rising West Valley Meadows 08 in 5th. Losing their top 7 kids (3 to Rising ECNL 08, 2 to Barca 08, and 2 to Rising MLS 09) is going to be very difficult. They still have a solid core, an incredible Keeper, and they promoted all of the studs from Rising West Valley Moreno (now called Rising West Valley Gonzalez). They will still do some damage in APL. Meadows is the best coach in APL, 1 loss in his last 18 or so APL/ASL1 games, so I'm predicting they overachieve and finish 3rd. If Del Sol II promoted their studs to MLS, maybe Meadows can finish 2nd...

    Agree on Barca 08 and then Rising Irwin in ASL1. Rising Irwin should be in APL over Markette but Irwin didn't apply for APL so the committee couldn't place them there. That Barca team is likely better than half the APL teams, their keeper is a kid from Alaska who is lights out. Rumor is they have 3 San Diego Surf kids that moved to Casa Grande. Have a feeling they are loaded, can't wait to see them play APL teams in local tournaments. Calcio Blue 08, or do we call them State48FC 08 now?, lost several players in the offseason and their coach is, well, not getting the most out of his players to say it nicely. I see a 4th or 5th place finish for them. Rising WV Ramirez lost no kids to Rising WV Meadows, that coach has a good grip on his team. There are a couple of those kids that could play ECNL maybe MLS right now.
     
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  5. AZsoccefan

    AZsoccefan Active Member

    Great perspective as always mbappe.

    I'm also very curious on how that Del Sol II team shaped up in the offseason. I know it was a team that was in demand among good players as quite a few Rising & RSL ECNL kids tried out there. I think they have a great style of play with the emphasis on possession and short simple passes. My hesitance in putting them in the top spot for APL was exactly as said above - how many kids will get bumped up to MLS.
     
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  6. Zerofire

    Zerofire New Member

    My prediction for APL

    1. Ccv-solid team lost a couple but picked up a couple ballers
    2. Del sol- will fight for first but heard head coach taking leave
    3. Excel - another solid team that will be fighting in the top 3
    4. Locomotive- probably will stack team knowing they will be playing in another state’s league
    5. Rising meadows- losing 7 starters losing the 2 09’s alone will change the dynamic of the team. Will truly be a test for the coach to make it work
    6. Arizona fc has a solid team may take 5th over meadows
    7. Rsl Markette this is my mystery team depending on who they field they may do better then predicted
     
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  7. AZsoccefan

    AZsoccefan Active Member

    Very solid picks. You can never sleep on CCV. They lost what I thought was their 3 best players prior to last season and yet were within a couple goals of winning APL last year. Very well coached team that develops kids really well.
     
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  8. Funyuns

    Funyuns Member

    Guess we’ll see early September. As of now, DS2 vs CCV and DS2 vs Meadows are slated to play at Desert Conference in Utah.
     
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  9. AZsoccefan

    AZsoccefan Active Member

    After seeing a few of the 2008 APL teams in action this weekend (at Rising Cup). I stand by my predictions for APL. I thought maybe one or two teams might surprise or cause me to second guess what I wrote a month ago.
    • Excel looks very good and if their kids up front are healthy they should be the front runner.
    • Del Sol looked incredibly solid as expected.
    • CCV had a hiccup at the beginning of the tournament getting blasted by Arsenal but bounced back to hammer Meadows and tie Excel (granted Excel was missing their best player and played a physical and highly charged emotional game just 14 hours prior to the CCV match).
    • Meadows played really solid against Arsenal (lost 1-0) but couldn't compete for 60 minutes with the other teams. I think they'll eventually play really well but might have some growing pains to get there.

    • The Southwest ECNL Conference needs to look out for Arsenal. They seem to be a lot bigger and more physical than I remember them last year. I thought playing APL (in addition to ECNL) really wore them down last year but looks like they are refreshed with some really big developed kids up front.
    • Meanwhile Rising ECNL played U15 and made it to the semi-finals. All of the teams they played were bigger and faster (Rising Scottsdale Dinnie, FC Tucson Black, N. Scottsdale Sandsharks) but they gutted out 2 wins and almost came back from down 0-3 in the semi-finals to beat the Sandsharks. While those U15 teams are solid, I think Rising might have got more out of playing in the U14 Gold bracket but I guess we'll find out in a month when they play Arsenal ECNL.
    Please chime in if you saw any of the action and have any thoughts - even if your thoughts are "AZscoccefan" is full of it. Can't even spell his stupid user name right!
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2021
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  10. Funyuns

    Funyuns Member

    From what I saw, there are talented kids on all the teams but most of the APL were playing boom ball. No real creativity, just a matter of who’s the strongest and fastest.
    Yes I agree, 08 Arsenal ECNL is definitely not the same as last year. My son guest played on Markette last year and we beat them but the team now is something else. They have quick ball movement in the middle with players making brilliant runs off the ball.
     
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