Derby Info: Slammers FC HB Køge vs San Diego Surf

Date: Saturday, May 6, 2023

Location: Orange County Great Park | Irvine, California

Age Groups: U13-U18/19

The first Continental Tire ECNL Derby Day of May features two of California’s elite clubs facing off against one another on Saturday, May 6, as San Diego Surf heads to Slammers FC HB Køge in a Southwest Conference showdown.

Club: Slammers FC HB Køge

Year Founded: 1994

Club Location: Irvine, California

Things You Should Know: 07 – 2022 ECNL National Champions, 03/04 – 2022 ECNL National Finalists, 08 – 2022 ECNL National Semifinalists, 05 and 06 – 2022 ECNL National Quarterfinalists

Quotables: Slammers FC HB Køge enter the weekend at the top of the table in three of the Southwest Conference age groups, and are not far behind in the others, including narrowly being in second place behind Surf in the 06 age group, with only 0.02 ppg separating the two sides. With the standings so close in a number of places these games will go a long way in determining conference champions heading into the postseason.

“It’s cool this late in the year cause there are so many games in this fixture that are decisive games in terms of conference seedings and for playoffs,” said Head Coach Cheyne Gordon. “These games are ones that everybody looks at for us, and I’m sure Surf circles on the calendar.”

With so much on the line in the standings, Gordon knows his players will be ready for the big weekend, and that they know if you want results against clubs like Surf you have to have your best game for the day.

“I think it speaks to the respect that we have for the level of their club,” Gordon said. “Our players know that you can’t underperform in those games and expect results. So, our club in particular always gets really excited to play against top clubs like Surf.”

“I’m really looking forward to it. All of us at Slammers really respect Surf and we’re excited that we were chosen alongside them to represent this Derby Day.”

Club: San Diego Surf

Year Founded: 1977

Club Location: San Diego, California

Things You Should Know: 09 – 2022 ECNL National Semifinalists

Quotables: On the San Diego side, Surf comes into the Derby sitting in either first or second place at every age group, and is looking to run down Slammers for the top spot in the 08 age group with the two sides only separated by 0.02 ppg coming into this weekend’s matchup.

“It’s always one of the biggest games of the year because of how talented and how strong those teams are in every age group,” said Technical Director Andres Deza. “We look forward to these games very much. It challenges our players in ways that very few clubs in the country can challenge our players, and we have a lot of respect for what Slammers have done.”

Deza emphasized that the motivation his players will have this weekend is the same they carry into any game against a top team they face, but that the motivation is what you need when going up against a side with the quality of Slammers.

“It’s the usual motivation of playing against a very strong opponent,” Deza said. “That’s the motivation that every good player that aspires to play top level teams needs to naturally have.”

With Surf having so many teams primed to make runs in the upcoming playoffs, Deza believes playing against such a strong opponent late in the season will help his club in preparation for the talented teams they will take on this summer.

“We are at the end of our cycle and just preparing for the best event of the year, which is the playoffs, so just having this event in May is really important to us and means a lot,” Deza said. “It’s an amazing day, an amazing event, and we’re really looking forward to it.”