Rogue Valley Cup invades Jackson County

Gary Osterhage took his team to within one game of the Oregon State Cup championship contest.

This weekend, Osterhage and the U17 boys RVSC United 90 are hoping for the whole enchilada.

RVSC United 90 and approximately 180 other boys and girls squads from ages 10 through 19 will begin play Saturday in the 15th annual Rogue Valley Memorial Cup soccer tournament.

The three-day Rogue Valley Cup, the largest annual weekend event of any kind in Jackson County, concludes Monday with a handful of championship matches.

Nearly 200 teams from Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada and Idaho will flock to the area, bringing over 2,500 spectators and 3,100 boys and girls competitors.

Games begin at 8 a.m. on all three days, with championship matches set for Monday. Goalie Wars, which has turned into one of the Cup's more popular events, will run from 8:30-11 p.m. on Saturday.

Teams will play on 15 different fields, including the recently completed U.S. Cellular Sports Park. The U19 boys and girls contests will take place at North Medford High.

Other field locations include Fichtner-Mainwaring Park, Abe Lincoln Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, Kennedy Elementary and South Medford High School.

The RVSC United 90 boys — also known as the RVSC FC SO United — will open play at Fichtner-Mainwaring on Saturday at 8 a.m. against the Predators from Reno, Nevada.

The RVSC squad, comprised of players from North Medford and South Medford High School, recently completed a 12-3 club season where they won their winter league and advanced to the State Cup semifinals before losing to top-ranked Westside Metros Internationals of Portland.

The Portland-based team, which was ranked 14th in the country and had two national team players on its squad, went on to win the State Cup after defeating RVSC United 4-0.

"Two of our guys didn't even make the trip up because of injuries," Osterhage said. "That was tough. We still played very well in the first half and I think we had them thinking a little bit. But I think we ran out of steam in the second half."

Just advancing that far at the State Cup is a rarity for Rogue Valley Soccer Club members.

"It's tough because these Portland teams have all these players and they stick the best guys or girls on two or three teams," said Osterhage. "It (the loss) was disappointing, but losing 4-0 to a team that's that good isn't bad."

RVSC United, led by South Medford High players Skyler Holt, Matt Mendoza, Brian Avila and North standouts Waldo Calvillo and Jorge Maldanado, hopes to continue that success at the Rogue Valley Cup.

"I hope we play well," said Osterhage, also the Rogue Valley Soccer Club's director of coaches. "I think we will do fine. It just depends on a lot of things, like injuries or illness. It doesn't take much."

The U19 division also includes a strong local presence.

On the boys side, RVSC FC SO United, FC Outkast of Phoenix and RVSC Red will vie for a title.

In girls, FC Phoenix Rampage, RVSC FC SO United, TRSC Panthers of Central Point, RVSC Lazers and the Ashland ASC Unicorns hope to be in contention.

Reach reporter Kevin Goff at 776-4483, or e-mail

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