Diablo FC premier teams excel this season in new high-caliber leagues
Club meets challenge of National Premier, Western College Development Assn.
When it was announced that Diablo FC had entered its teams in two new high-caliber programs this year there was probably some trepidation as to how the teams would fare. According to Director of Coaching Brian Voltattorni the verdict is in and it’s “two thumbs up” for the local competitive soccer club.
Four Diablo FC teams won their divisions in the Regional Academy League run by NorCal Premier, the US Club Soccer program in Northern California, while the Diablo FC boys teams in Western College Development Association have been in the top ranks all season. Moving forward RAL is embracing its affiliation with USCS with its top league being renamed National Premier Leagues, which has affiliated top clubs and leagues from all over the United States. Diablo FC was one of only three clubs in Northern California to have all 10 of its U14-U18 boys and girls teams in RAL Premier.
The under 16 and U17 boys and girls teams from Diablo each claimed RAL championships this fall. The U16 boys Diablo FC 95, who are currently ranked as the #2 team in America, won its RAL flight with an 8-2 record. The older U17 Diablo FC 94 boys also topped RAL standings with a 7-1-2 mark and are 21st in USA rankings.
Diablo FC 93 was the only unbeaten U18 boys team in RAL but had three draws and finished third while also handing league champs Mustang Reds their only loss. The U14 Diablo FC 97 boys were runner-up in RAL. The U12 and U13 boys from Diablo FC each won its NorCal Premier flights this fall as well. The U13 Diablo FC 98 team will enter National Premier Leagues play next year.
For the Diablo FC girls both the U16 (7-0-1) and U17 (8-2) teams won their Premier Division titles in RAL. The U14 Diablo FC 97 girls were runners-up with a 7-2 record while U15 Diablo FC 96 took third. The U12 girls from Diablo FC 99 were second in NorCal Premier while the U13 girls were fourth.
“RAL is the top playing league in Northern California and I think it speaks volume to the strength of our club to have finished so highly in league standings with four league champions and four more teams finishing in the top three,” Voltattorni explains. “WCDA is the strongest playing league on the West Coast for boys and Diablo FC is one of the top three clubs in WCDA West Coast for overall standings from U13-U18.”
Voltattorni, who resigned from his De La Salle High School soccer coaching post with his third straight North Coast Section title and fifth overall leading the Spartans, adds, “The level of play for RAL is extremely high - the best clubs in Northern California are playing here now.
“WCDA brings together the top clubs from the West Coast to compete in Showcase events for college coaches. Needless to say, the level of play is very high with respected clubs represented from all over the West. Their Showcase in Las Vegas over Thanksgiving was very impressive and beneficial for our club. There were very high-level matches against top competition with over 100 college coaches present recruiting, all-star events for our top seniors, a college presentation and youth training for our 98/99 age players with a US National Team staff coach.”
Both RAL and WCDA combine league play with college showcase events for players to be able to play on their team in front of many college coaches against premier competition. “The RAL Showcase was a huge success as well. Many college coaches were present to watch the top Northern California clubs compete against each other,” the local coaching director added.
Voltattorni summed up the new endeavors for his club, “We’re very excited about the future of Diablo FC as part of US Club National Premier Leagues and WCDA. These prestigious leagues offer our Diablo FC players the absolute premier playing experience with maximum exposure to college coaches and showcases. Our club is exclusively offering these opportunities in Central and Eastern Contra Costa.”
By Jay Bedecarre
Reprinted from Clayton Pioneer