2009 has been a special season for the SIGMA organization. With the introduction of SIGMA FC, four teams were created with a vision of providing a thorough development system as seen in all parts of the soccer world. This plan to solidify a real club culture and atmosphere has been successful to this point with all SIGMA teams enjoying success both on and off the field.
At the pinnacle of the pyramid is SIGMA FC which competes in the OSL Regional East division. The team entered their first year of competition in this competitive men's division without any expectations. The initiative set forth by SIGMA is to provide all of the senior players of the club 17 and over an opportunity to compete at a good level and continue their development within the club. With half of the season complete the team has a record of 8 wins and 3 losses and sits in second position in the standings. It will be an interesting remainder of the season as the team has lost 7 players to their university commitments. According to coach Bobby Smyrniotis the team will now look to its experienced players along with younger 16 and 17 year olds to carry the load, "We have had a great start to the season but slipped up in our last two matches. With our scholarship players already having departed we will require our few experienced players to carry the load as we begin to promote many of our 16 and 17 year olds to the first team. It will be great challenge for the group and I am comfortable that they can continue to keep pace with the top spot in the league. It has been very successful so far as we have prepared our players properly for their University seasons and have solidified a home for all of our senior players over the coming years."
Second in line to the first team at SIGMA is the B1 squad which is comprised of players born in 1992 and 1993 respectively. This group is currently sitting top of the SAAC Senior Showcase division with 26 points from 10 matches (8W, 0L, 2T). The team is made up of the next recruiting classes at the club and is well recognized for the high tempo possession style of soccer they play. Coach Dave Zonneveld is especially pleased with the team's progress over the season, "It has not been smooth all the way but of most importance is the consistency and style of play the team has leaned to embrace and above all enjoy. There has been a great deal of emphasis on the tactical aspect of the game and getting the best technically out of the player's within the system. So far it has been very positive". Of most importance for this group is their early entrance into the recruiting process of US Universities. The group has impressed many people over the summer which will only prove crucial to their development and aspiration of playing at the next level.
The one team facing the most challenges at SIGMA is the C1 (U15) which competes at the SAAC Senior showcase division with U17 squads. The team was placed in this division to challenge the players from a physical aspect. To date the results have been impressive not from a wins and losses perspective but from the ability of the team to dominate play on the field. The team currently sits third in the table with 14 points (4W, 4L, 2T). The team is coached by Juan Jaime Barreto who has produced a well disciplined team under the universal SIGMA philosophy of play, "all of our teams play an attractive style of possession football. That is evident from watching any team in the club. It is a mandate from the director and provides the players an ability to grow within the club year by year. With the team we have focused on how to be disciplined on the field as we challenge teams who in some case are 2-3 years older than our boy's. This has been the success of the team for the year. The team has several talents who could have a bright future so long as they continue to work hard on the field and are not distracted off of it".
Last but not least is the C2 Squad (U14) which has a core of 5 players from the original SIGMA group of 2006. The core of this team has been together for a period of three years and it is evident in their play on the field. The team competes in the SAAC Junior showcase division (U15) and is currently on top of the standings with 18 points (6W - 3L). One of the highlights of the season was the team's success at the Score Showcase in Greensboro North Carolina where they successfully captured the championship in one of the country's top rated tournaments with competition from the whole eastern United States. The team is well known for their ability to consistently play an attractive and unselfish brand of soccer as taught in such top development countries as the Netherlands and Spain. Coach and Technical Director of SIGMA is the first to admit there is something in the future for this group, "it is enjoyable to see the ability these players have on the field at such an age. I have worked with many players abroad and this group shows the same hunger and attitude toward training and match play. The most important thing is for all the players to keep on working hard to break existing thresholds and reach new ones. Of extreme importance is that they are all good kids and students. Education is the most important aspect for athletes in North America and there must be a proper balance between both". The team continues its season until the end of September with the final stretch of league matches and cup play!
As is evident above the club is growing and the success of development based training and competition is beginning to bear fruit for SIGMA. Time will tell if the sky is the limit for this tiny club and its special group of players.