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May, 2019

FC Surge vs ReggaeGirlz

     What a night!  FC Surge was honored to be a part of the local send off for the Jamaican Women's National Team (Reggae Girlz) as they embark on their historic first Women's World Cup in France.  It was a weeklong celebration culminating in an International Friendly match on May 24th.  It was the Surge's first game for the 2019 season having just completed try-outs and only a couple of practices.  The atmosphere was electric, loud, and fun. 

     Starting line-up included Captains (and founding members) Elanna Brady (D) and April Perry (D), returning players  Flor Baldassini (M), Eva Castano Candela (F),  Shelby Denkert (M), Krissy Fisher (M), Chrissy Gratz (F), and Christine Kindt (M), and newcomers Nina Fernandez (GK), Jeanel Leon (D), and Amanda Martin (D).  Substitutes included returnees Nicole Di Pasquale and Natasha Perez, and newcomers Brianna Austin, Chelsea Benavides, Dominique Brown, Stephany Diaz, Kayla Fisher, Courtney Hueston, Hunter Matson, and Christina Velasquez.  Also in attendance but unable to play awaiting International Clearance were Shanoska Young and JahNya Press.  The full roster also includes Christina Chang, Jessica Clark and Alejandra Silva.  Chang was an integral part of the Jamaican team helping them qualify for the cup with her PK goal in the Panama game, but was unfortunately not called up for the final squad named for France.

     Surge is led by 4th year Head Coach Ramiro Vengoechea, assisted for this game by Maria Moira and Gabby Baldassini.  Assistant Coach Iko De Oliveira was unable to attend but is a major part of the development of this year’s team with coach Rami.  CEO Rochelle Wimbush, GM Marge Perry, Intern Andres Perez and Volunteer Ramses Giron all assisted in preparation and execution of the event.

     The evening included music, food and a celebrity match with Jamaican and Haitian entertainers and other celebrities (Shanoska was able to play with the Jamaican celebrities).  The Reggae Girlz Foundation planned the event as a fundraiser for the Jamaican Women's Team and their founder Cedella Marley was in attendance cheering their squad on (as well as her mom, the Marley Family matriarch).

     The Surge shook off their nerves in the first two minutes of the match and were able to play their style of passing/building to set the rhythm of the first half.  After clearing up the defense left back April Perry placed a perfect lob to the feet of forward Chrissy Gratz who outran her Jamaican defender and the GK to strike the first goal in the 4th minute of play.  Several other chances ensued in the first 30 minute half and the Surge inserted most all of their subs.  The Reggae Girlz brought out their big guns in the 2nd half with the substitutions in of Marlo Sweatman and Kadija (Bunny). Shaw.  Each side saw several chances at goal but Shaw was able to break through and score 2 goals to win the match for the Jamaican's 2-1.  Several former WPSL players were part of the Jamaican team including Ashleigh Shim who has played with the Surge in a few off season scrimmages.

    The Jamaican team left for Europe the next day and will play their final pre cup game versus the Scottish National Team on Tuesday 5/28, whose squad also includes former Surge player Claire Emslie.  Then it's on to France for their first ever WWC.  They are in Group C and meet Brazil first on June 9th, Italy on June 14th and finish off group play versus Australia on June 18th.  They will be one of the most watched teams in the cup as they celebrate their historic first time.  Surge wishes them well on their journey. 

     The Surge begin WPSL Regular Season play with a weekend road trip on June 1-2 to meet the Florida Tropics on Saturday and the Florida Krush (usually coached by Jamaican Head Coach Hue Menzies) on Sunday.  Home games start on Wednesday, June 5th, 7:30pm vs Team Boca Blast and Sunday, June 9th, 11am vs Florida Sol.  Away at FGCDL on June 15th and back home on June 23rd 1pm (Orlando Kicks) and June 30th 2pm (Puerto Rico Pride).  Conference, Regional, and Championship matches continue on into July. 

     This is the Surge's 7th season of play in the 22nd year Women's Premier Soccer League, the largest women's amateur league in the world.  Practicing and playing this season at a new venue, Rok Field at Scheck Hillel Community School 19000 NE 25th Avenue North Miami Beach Florida.  Admission is FREE for this season (ID required for security gate entrance).  Sponsors needed.

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