In 2015, a group of young, ambitious soccer players, representing Chicago Fire Juniors City, decided to test their skills and compete in one of the highest ranked tournaments in the Midwest. Parents were skeptical since the team was ranked in the 200’s, playing against the top teams in MO, IL and KS.
As the weekend progressed, the boys kept winning...skepticism turned into optimism and this new team of 12yr old boys took home the Championship. This marked the beginning of the 2003 Pre-Academy Team.
That weekend, the team became the #1 IL team in GotSoccer and held that ranking for the next 2 years. By June of 2017, the 2003 Pre-Academy team was ranked #1 in IL (US Youth Soccer Rankings), #3 in the Region, and #23 in the Nation. They were also given the FAIR PLAY award for Region II after showing upstanding character and good sportsmanship at the Regional Championships in Sioux Falls, SD this past June.
Based in Chicago, the team is as diverse as the city itself, and the kids come from a broad range of ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Numerous players travel upwards of 2hrs, 3-4 times a week for practices and games. Their love of soccer and dedication to the team is reflective of every teammate. They consider each other family and bring the best out in one another. Considering all they've achieved, egos have never been an issue. They are equals once their feet touch the pitch.
Chicago Fire Juniors City is a non-for profit soccer club, who have already provided financial assistance with player tuition. They’ve given these athletes the opportunity to train in the best facility, from the best coaches. But they need your help on their quest to the National League Games (only team from IL competing in the 15U age division), in North Carolina Dec. 6th-10th, Orlando Dec. 26th-31st MRL games throughout the Spring and if all goes well, National Championships in Frisco, TX in June 2018.
Your donations will provide the 2003 Pre-Academy team with food, transportation and accommodations throughout the 2017-18 year. To be more specific, the immediate funds will be allocated towards their National League games in Dec. i.e., flights to Raleigh, NC and Orlando, FL, hotels in both those locations, ground transportation and food for every player. In the Spring, your donations will be used for travel expenses during MRL weekends. These can be monetarily taxing for families, since overnight accomodations are usually required. As I mentioned, if all goes as planned, the remaining funds will be used towards the National Championships in Frisco, TX, June 22nd-27th.
More importantly, your donations give this team infinite opportunities of which each player earned and deserves. What they have is truly special, what they’ve accomplished is impressive, but what they’re capable of is only now being revealed.
After placing 2nd in the Premier 1 Division of MRL, winning the IL State Cup and placing 3rd in the USYS Regional Championships in June 2017, the 2003 Pre-Ac was featured on MLSSoccer.com.com. To learn about the team's journey, here's the link to the published article:
Please enjoy the video of this year's 2003 Pre-Academy team.
We thank you for your time and grateful for any amount you are willing to donate.
Christy Shumaker and Chicago Fire Juniors City 2003 Pre-Academy
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