The Khourys, former Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor coaches, feel all have a shot to go far in the western regional. Maybe all the way to the national championships, where the under-14 to under-19 teams can only compete in Frisco, Texas, on July 24-29.
The Slammers have won three U.S. Youth Soccer National crowns. Walid Khoury would like to add to the trophy case, filled with an array of accomplishments from four U.S. Club Soccer National Championships to two Nike Youth World Championships, eight Region IV Championships to 21 National State Cup Championships and 43 Surf Cups.
More importantly to the Khourys is sending 23 players to NCAA Division I programs recently.
"That's what this program is all about, giving girls a chance to play at the next level and earn an education," Walid Khoury said. "We've been averaging 18-24 college players the last four years and we keep developing players."
Reload is what the Slammers do year in and year out, much of the recent success Walid Khoury said can be attributed to the contributions of coaches Walter Loyola, George Larsen and Rick Young.
Walid Khoury said nine Slammers are members of the U.S. National team, an amount almost large enough to field their own Slammers/national club.
The six Slammers teams are hot, but the hottest is the under-14, ranked second in the country and coached by Larsen.
It won the prestigious Manchester United Nike Premier Cup in Beaverton, Ore., and will represent the U.S. at the Gothia Cup, regarded as the youth soccer's version of World Cup, with 65 countries participating in Gothenburg, Sweden next month.
"We're trying to bring back the third world championship," said Walid Khoury, whose program for the fifth straight year is ranked in the top 10 in Soccer America's annual rankings. "There's a lot of excitement with the program, but we first have to take care of business and strike at the U.S. Youth Soccer Far Western Regionals."
The Khourys know there's no better place to hit the jackpot than Las Vegas.
DAVID CARRILLO PEÑALOZA may be reached at (714) 966-4612 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.