Thursday, October 20, 2011

ESPNHS: Eclipse Select, Michigan Hawks fight for first in Midwest

By Chris Ackels

It doesn’t take much to realize the importance of this weekend’s ECNL matches between Michigan Hawks and Eclipse Select.

At the U18 level, it’s a battle between the first-place Hawks and the second-place Eclipse. For the U17s, it’s last year’s US Youth Soccer Region II Champion against last year’s best ECNL record. At U16, it’s a chance for two squads to prove themselves against a rival club. And at U15, Eclipse sits in second place with the Hawks right behind them.

From top to bottom, at every age level, this weekend’s matches will have significant implications on the Midwest Conference standings.

“There’s definitely a mutual respect between the clubs,” said Michigan Hawks U17 head coach Doug Landefeld. “It’s like Michigan versus Michigan State. This week is different. The training is different, and the expectations are different.”

Eclipse head coach Mike Nesci agrees: “They are a fantastic club with a great coaching staff,” Nesci said of Michigan Hawks. “They’re also a huge reason why our club has gained prominence. They make us better because we are constantly competing with them.”


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