#SAACGameOfTheWeek

#Gameoftheweek (1)

Soccer Academy Alliance Canada is proud to announce #SAACGameOfTheWeek!

#SAACGameOfTheWeek will showcase one game that will have live tweets and in-game updates as an attempt to further promote the talent around our league!

Our first #SAACGameOfTheWeek will be announced shortly for this upcoming weekend. Stay tuned to our social feeds for all the latest information.

Twitter: @SAACSoccer

Instagram: @SAACSoccer

YouTube: SAACTvCanada

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Championship Weekend: Day Two Results

Written by: Matthew Pedias

SAAC’s Championship Weekend at Centennial Stadium was a huge success. We would like to take this time to thank all SAAC Academies who put in a tremendous amount of work in both on and off the pitch the entire season and especially preparing for SAAC Championship Weekend. We congratulate all of you on a tremendous season and are already looking forward to seeing you again in the Spring.

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U13 Male:  vs. 

To kick-off “Day Two” of SAAC Championship Weekend, Premier Soccer Institute and Rush Canada (White) battled for the U13M Challenge Final. Rush opened the scoring early on, then added to the lead early in the second-half. They held on to the clean sheet, topping Premier 2-0 and securing the U13M Fall Challenge Trophy. Congratulations to both teams on a hard fought match and good luck in the competitive stream next season!

U14 Male:  vs. 

Next up, Spring Champions (Rush Canada) took the field against Fall Champions (FC Durham) in the U14 Male Academy Cup Final. From kick-off, this match had non-stop action. FC Durham jumped ahead to a 2-0 lead, but there was no quit in Rush Canada, who quickly responded with a goal of their own. Then, in the dying minutes they were awarded a penalty kick and made no mistake tying the game 2-2.

An incredible match from the first whistle, they then went straight to penalty kicks. In the end, FC Durham was able to regain their composure and win 6-5 on penalties. We congratulate both teams on such an amazing game as well as a fantastic season!

U14 Female: vs. 

Our next game featured Spring and Fall Champions (FC Durham) taking on second-seeded London FA. Despite FC Durham being undefeated in both the Spring and Fall campaign, this match was extremely close. At halftime, neither team was able to find the score-sheet. While both teams had their chances, it was FC Durham that broke the deadlock and managed to pull out the 1-0 victory. With that, they completed the treble as Fall, Spring and Academy Cup Champions! Well done to both teams on a very entertaining match as well as a great season.

U16 Female:  vs. 

Our final match of SAAC’s Championship Weekend was between Fall Champions (Rush Canada) and Spring Champions (FC Durham) for the U16 Female Academy Cup. Rush Canada burst out of the gate with a goal within the first five minutes. Shortly after, they added to their lead through a cross in the box. However, FC Durham did not quit and answered back with a goal of their own making it 2-1 heading into halftime. Rush seemed to regain composure, and scored almost immediately after halftime to go up 3-1. That would be the final score as Rush Canada secured the U16F Academy Cup! Congratulations to both teams on a hard fought match.

Congratulations to all SAAC Academy teams and we look forward to another successful season next year! Enjoy the break.

SAAC

Championship Weekend: Day One Results

Written by: Matthew Pedias

SAAC’s Championship Weekend at Centennial Stadium was a huge success. We would like to take this time to thank all SAAC Academies who put in a tremendous amount of work in both on and off the pitch the entire season and especially preparing for SAAC Championship Weekend. We congratulate all of you on a tremendous season and are already looking forward to seeing you again in the Spring.

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U15 Male:  vs. 

The opening match of Championship Weekend kicked off with Spring Champions (Toronto Skillz) and Fall Champions (Rush Canada) battling it out for the U15M Academy Cup. It was a very tense game, as neither team was able to find the back of the net in regulation time. Thus, going straight to penalty kicks. In the end, Rush Canada won 5-4 on penalties, with the final moment being captured below. SAAC congratulates both teams on a spirited affair! Great match.

U16 Male: vs. 

Next up, Spring Champions (ANB Futbol) took on Fall Champions (Power FC) in the U16M Academy Cup Final. After a scoreless first half, ANB stormed out with two goals and seemed to put the game out of reach. However, Power responded quickly after with a goal of their own. The final moments were exhilarating as Power attempted to find the tying goal, but ANB were able to hang on and secure a 2-1 victory. SAAC congratulations both teams on a great match!

U17 Male: vs. 

We follow that up with Spring Champions (FC Durham) who took on Fall Champions (Sigma FC – B2) in the U17M Academy Cup Final. FC Durham opened the scoring moments before the end of the first half, then added to their lead early in the second half! Sigma FC kept the game close with a goal shortly after that to bring them within one, but FC Durham quickly responded put the game out of reach shortly after and came out with a 3-1 victory to claim the U17M Academy Cup! Congratulations to both academies on their respective trophies.

U20 Male: vs. 

Finally, we wrapped up ‘Day One’ of Championship Weekend with Spring Champions (Sigma FC – B1) taking on Fall Champions (ANB Futbol) in the U20M Academy Cup Final. An absolutely enthralling match that came down to the wire! Sigma FC went ahead early, but ANB responded with three consecutive goals. Sigma FC then cut into the lead shortly after, making it 3-2 with just over 20 minutes to play. ANB seemed to seal the victory after going up 4-2, but Sigma FC was not going down without a fight. They pulled one back in the dying minutes off of a corner kick, and now it’s 4-3! However, ANB stayed composed and were able to lock down the win and take home the U20M Academy Cup.

Congratulations to all SAAC Academy teams and we look forward to another successful season next year! Enjoy the break.SAAC

BC Academy joins SAAC Membership

October 13, 2016

Soccer Academy Alliance Canada is pleased to announce that Martin Bittengl School of Soccer has officially joined SAAC’s membership. They become the third Academy to join from outside of Ontario. Read the full press release below:

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Talent Tuesday: Q&A with Aaliyah Scott

SAAC

Interview by: Matthew Pedias

Matthew Pedias: “First off we wanted to thank you for taking the time to do this with us. Why don’t we start off with a little introduction as to who you are on and off the field? What is your position and favourite club?

Aaliyah Scott: “My favourite club in the world is Barcelona because I like the way they play. They play tiki-taka style and they use that with the best players like Messi, Neymar, Suarez and they compliment the team really well. I play either attacking mid or wing because I like to dribble a lot, take players on and get shots in the box.”

MP: “So, why soccer? What drove you to compete in this specific sport growing up as a child?”

AS: “Well, actually my brother played when he was about six or seven, so I always grew up watching him on the sidelines everyday. I wanted to be like him. My goal was to get at least ten juggles when I was five, and I couldn’t so I kept on working at it. Eventually my brother [stopped] playing since he didn’t want to anymore, so then my mom enrolled me in soccer and it went on from there.

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MP: “If you had to compare your style of play to any player, male or female around the world, who would it be and why?”

AS: “I’d say Neymar, because I like his imagination and I try to use as much imagination on the field [as I can]. Trying stuff like 360’s or nutmegging people.”

Photo/Canada Soccer

MP: “Do you have any pre-game rituals that get into or do you not believe in that?”

AS: “I don’t believe in that!”

MP: “What are a few characteristics that you possess as a player that makes you stand out amongst your peers? Whether that be in Toronto Skillz or the National Team Pool?

AS: “First of all, I’m very hard-working. I want to push everyday to get better and better. I’m very dedicated at home, I touch the ball as much as I can and it’s literally a part of me. Being in the national team pool is very hard, since you have to work for what you want. There’s probably 10,000 girls that are trying to get my spot on the national team so I have to keep working hard and I can never feel secure.”

MP: “Describe the atmosphere that you faced at both CONCACAF Tournaments”

AS: “I’d say it was very professional. At my age group, they are trying to make us into more mature players. Here’s an example, when we just came from the airport in Grenada, there were two police cars driving behind and in front of our team bus because they were so scared that anything could happen to us. I just felt secure. It made me feel like [I’m] a professional player. The area around the dressing room was fantastic. I saw the stands and there was at least a couple hundred or couple thousand people there and I was just like ‘they want to come watch me?”

MP: “If you could name one person either retired or still an active player, that you would consider as your role model, who would it be and why?”

AS: “I would say Ronaldinho, because he is a very technical player, and that’s like me. His attitude is very good and he taught Messi the qualities that he needs to play at Barcelona [in order to] get to the next level.”

aaliyah-interview

MP: “Although it only just began, what would you say the best moment of your career is thus far?”

AS: “I’d probably say the inter squad that I played at my camp in January, then the under 14 to under 17 NEX (National Excel) camp. It was great because that was probably the biggest deciding factor for the squad and who went to Granada. I scored two major goals, like ‘Messi goals.’ I dribbled through the whole team to score those. Being a younger player, I had to stand out in that camp because I’m smaller. I obviously have to use my strengths and show my stuff. I made the team in Grenada and that was just a great feeling to know that the inter squad pushed me there.”

MP: “So how has SAAC, and specifically Toronto Skillz helped you develop into the player you are today?”

AS: “Like I said before, they tried to develop the European style in their club. So, they brought out the confidence in me, especially Tiger and Jake. They gave me the freedom on the field. The best thing is that I play with boys. Their faster, stronger and they are smart on the ball, so I learn from them. Just getting to know them and playing with them makes me a better player.”

MP: “You mentioned you played with boys, describe what that’s like for you and how important it is to you?”

AS: “They’re bigger, faster and stronger. So you learn from that. Girls play a different style of soccer than guys, so it’s great for girls to learn that tiki-taka style and that creativeness.

MP: “What was your initial reaction when you were called to play for the Canadian National Team? Where were you when you heard?”

AS: “I was super excited. First of all, I was [young] and I didn’t think I’d make it because I’m smaller than everyone. So, I was at practice and my coaches came up to me and said ‘guess what?’ and then they said I made the National Team. I couldn’t believe it.”

MP: “Size is just an obstacle, you look at some of the best players around the world like Messi, they’re small players but they have the skill, the touch and it just make everything look natural. When you have that, size doesn’t matter at all.”

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MP: “Being in the Women’s National Excel Camp is no small feat, let alone being there at the age of 13. How hard did you have to work to get to that spot?”

AS: “I had to work really hard, doing extra fitness and working on my own more because I’m smaller and I have to stand out as much as possible. When your younger, it’s harder to make it onto the older age groups if you don’t stand out as a player.”

Photo/Canada Soccer

MP: “How has the last year and a half been inside that national pool and how have you grown as both a player and a person?”

AS:Well, it’s been really stressful because obviously school has taken a big toll. I made a lot of sacrifices like missing weddings and such, I just have to always work really hard.”

MP: “I’m sure that whoever’s wedding it was will forgive you when you come back with an Olympic Gold medal in a couple of years. I think they’ll forgive you, just remember to take a picture with them!”

AS: “Yeah!”

MP: “What is your dream as a professional player and what do you strive to achieve?”

AS: “I want to play in Europe once I get older after University. I want to play somewhere like PSG (Paris Saint German) where all the best players play like Henry.”

MP: “What would you say is your favourite moment with SAAC/Toronto Skillz?”

AS: “My favourite moment was playing in the semi-final two-years ago in the U14 boys division. We played against FC Durham for the Fall Challenge. It was just a great experience because we beat them and it was my first ever final in SAAC. I just loved playing with the boys and dominating that game.”

MP: “What would you say to anybody that could be reading this interview on our site and want to replicate what you’ve done so far?”

AS: “I would say every player experiences setbacks. I didn’t make the World Cup squad [Current U17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan], but it’s going to push me to become a better player and to stand out more. I’d say to not let setbacks bring you down and to help them push you forward into a better player.”

On behalf of everyone here at SAAC, we want to thank Aaliyah for taking the time to talk to us and wish her nothing but success in her professional career.

Thanks to Canada Soccer for the photos.

Fall Challenge and Championship Weekend Schedule Released

SAAC News Release

Oct 11/16

Soccer Academy Alliance Canada has released the schedules for the 2016 Fall Challenges and Championship Weekend.

The U12M & U13M Fall Challenge will take place throughout the October weekends at St. Joan of Arc and Bishop Reding Turf Facilities. The U12M Challenge Finals will take place on November 6th at Bishop Reding, while the U13M Finals will be part of the SAAC Championship Weekend.

The Championship Weekend will take place on the November 12/13 weekend and will include Finals for the Academy League U14M, U14F, U15M, U16M, U16F, U17M and U20M Divisions. These games will take place at Centennial Stadium in Toronto.

Challenge Schedules

Championship Weekend

FC Durham and Toronto Skillz talk CoachCam

SAAC: October 4th

In July, Soccer Academy Alliance Canada announced a working partnership with CoachCam. Since then, some of the academies within our membership have had the opportunity to use the app in their day-to-day soccer activities.

Rocky Sasitharan, FC Durham’s Girls Director of Player Development has been working with the CoachCam app for over a month and spoke very highly of the different options within the application. “I will say the different illustration options that can be incorporated in the footage is top class. Lots of different animations and lines really covers all the bases in that respect and allows the user to really be able to show what they want to show using the specific animation.”

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Meanwhile, Toronto Skillz Academy Director Jake Doodnath has been using CoachCam as an aid to help his players make better decisions on the ball.

“We have been using the Coach Cam software as a visual training aid for our players. This tool allows us to provide positive feedback and show the player different options that could have been chosen in a particular situation. Another benefit has been sharing information within our coaching staff, the videos allow coaches to share thoughts and also discuss corrections made to players during training.”

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For more information on CoachCam, please visit their website and follow them on their social feed: @sts_coachcam.