The Columbus Express boys and girls teams participated in the Crossroads Showcase in Westfield, IN and the Nike Blue Chip Showcase in Cincinnati, OH over the past two weekends. Overall, Express showed well with a 20-6-4 club-wide record over the two events with 60 goals scored, 31 goals allowed, and 11 shutouts in 30 matches.
2005 Boys take top spot at Crossroads, 3-0 at Blue Chip
The 2005 Boys and coach Ty Smith went a perfect 6-0 over two weekends winning the Crossroads Showcase and finishing as runner-up at Blue Chip.
At Crossroads, the boys opened the weekend with a 3-0 shutout over Club Ohio. Gui Silva, Nico Gotoh, and Flynn Keele scored. Nathan Imlay, Aidan Whitley, and Eli Miller had assists. In the second match, Express defeated Michigan Stars 4-0. Gotoh scored the game-winner off of a Christian Cardoso assist. Miller added three insurance goals; two from Obed Oliva passes. Oscar Ballinas and Max Grewe combined for two clean sheets in as many matches. The final match saw the Express boys defeat United FC Michigan 5-2. JD Sever redirected a Keele cross. The scoring continued with a United FC own goal, two goals by Whitley and an unassisted strike by Oliva. Keele had two assists in the match.
Traveling to Cincinnati, the opening game of Blue Chip resulted in a 2-1 win for Express over Jahbhat FC. The first tally for Express came after Sever regained possession and went 80 yards ending with an Imlay to Oliva goal for the initial score. The game-winner came late in the match as Cardoso hit a 30-yard left foot bomb that found nylon and found Express three points richer. Express welcomed Barca Academy to the midwest with a 4-0 drubbing. Whitley found Silva slipping through the defense for the game-winner. Keele added two unassisted goals and Oliva returned the favor to Imlay a day later for the fourth and final goal. Ballinas and Grewe combined for the shutout. Team Challenger, a league opponent, was the final opponent for the Express 05 Boys. After going up 2-0 thanks to a Whitley strike and Miller racing through the backline for a goal, Team Challenger was forced to play with 10-men after a brutal ejection-warranted tackle on Silva. Silva, a tough Brazilian, continued and scored in the second half. Whitley found net again for his second of the match and Misaki Takemoto curled a left-footed shot inside the post for the fifth and final mark in the scoresheet resulting in a 5-1 win and a perfect 6-0 record in two events.
2004 Boys finish undefeated at Crossroads
The 2004 Boys Orange, coached by Aaron Barnard, went 2-0-1 at Crossroads tying Lakota FC before defeating Mockingbird Valley 1-0 and Kings Hammer 2-1. Jake Hofelich capped off his Express career with four goals in three games.
2006 Boys go unbeaten Crossroads; 2-1 at Blue Chip
The 2006 Boys Orange team, coached by Dan Priscu, also went undefeated at Crossroads with a 2-0-1 record. An opening match win over FCX Soccer Club (3-2) was followed by a 0-0 tie against Croatia Juniors. The penultimate game of the weekend saw Express pound Mockingbird Valley 4-0. Lucas Toppe and Lance Hubbard earned a shutout. Madux Tovey, Jasper Martin, Myles Chandler, Thomas Delacruz, Brayan Rodriguez, and Ethan House scored goals.
At Blue Chip, the 2006 Boys opened with a 1-0 win against Kings Hammer Red. Martin scored the game-winner with Toppe and Hubbard combining for a shutout. MUSA Flyers handed the boys their first loss over two weekends with a 0-4 thrashing. Resiliently, the 06 Boys capped the weekend with a 1-0 shutout win over Elite FC thanks to a Ryan Naylor goal and another Toppe and Hubbard clean sheet.
2007 Boys bounce back to go undefeated
The 2007 Boys Orange team, coached by Ty Smith, suffered a winless Crossroads with an 0-1-2 record tying Falls City (2-2) and Ohio Galaxies (1-1) and falling 1-0 to Steel City FC. Goals were scored by Matthew Payne, Jonathan Garcia Renteria, and Leo Iorio.
A comeback was needed and delivered by the boys which saw a tough weekend at Crossroads lead to an undefeated at Blue Chip. Payne scored from the spot in a tie against IFC Academy of Canada. A 3-1 win over Elite FC opened with Payne scoring from an assist from goalkeeper August Comer. Payne ruffled the net again taking an Evan Unterseher pass to goal. Aarav Nihalani finished off a Payne lay-off for the third goal. The final match saw Express defeat GTFC Impact 2-0 with Payne scoring and Keygan Mullins opening his account. Comer earned the shutout.
2008 Boys roll at Crossroads
The Sam LaVelle led 2008 Boys Orange team went 3-0 scoring 11 goals and conceding only two in three games winning their bracket of the Crossroads Showcase. In game 1, Express displayed strong defense and an explosive attack with a 3-0 win over Pride SC. Tanner Miller scored two goals with assists credited to Nick Mann and Emilio Quintero. Mann also played helper to an Angel Espejel goal. Ryder Meek earned the shutout. Express defeated Steel City 5-2 on Saturday. Tanner Miller scored two more and assisted Will Jamerson on another. Espejel and Quintero added goals. Nihalani dished out two assists with Jamerson and Mann also dropping dimes. The final game of the weekend, a 3-0 win over Team Challenger, had Espejel (Quintero assist), Mann, and Nihalani all score. Meek and John Harris split goalkeeper duties and the shutout.
2005 Girls win one, drop two
The 2005 Girls Orange team, coached by Drew Little, finished the weekend with a 1-2 record. Taylor Scott led the way with two goals. Ella Johnson and Paige Terry also found the back of the net. Assists were dished out by Evelyn Kiefer, Cyanne St Bernard, and Page Mora. Lauren Gatewood earned one shutout.
2007 Girls & Baker competitive
The 2007 Girls Orange team, coached by Cam Auzenne, went 2-1 over the weekend. It was the Avery Baker show on Saturday as she terrorized DPA Cobras with three goals in a 3-2 win. Sunday saw the Express girls win 3-1 over Sporting Columbus. Sammie Kegerreis joined the fun two goals finding the net. Baker scored again pushing her total to four goals for the weekend.