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FC Revolution Reds execute ‘the Reds Way’ one last time in third straight state cup final win



Photo by Matthew Ralph

As FC Revolution Reds prepared to take one last team photo together after capturing their third straight Eastern Pennsylvania State Cup win, head coach Eric Franks carefully set up several mementos of the teams’ time together, including plaques, trophies, hats, medals and a sign from being named girls team of the year at the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer banquet earlier this year.

That last official team photo was a culmination of an incredible run for a team that was able to find remarkable consistency and commitment in a constantly shifting world of youth soccer.

“When I first started coaching them in 2015 they were U10s, I couldn’t have imagined this and us doing all of this,” Franks said. “Their commitment has just been incredible. I don’t have words.”

Sunday’s final at WSFS Bank Sportsplex in Chester against Hex FC was decided pretty early with a slew of first half goals. Ashley Lavrich, a Monmouth University-bound central midfielder who has also been starring with Reading United this summer, led the way with the early offensive burst and much of the second half was simply running down the clock to another trophy and a final time sharing the field wearing the FC Revolution badge.

Despite the anti-climactic end, the shutout kept the streak alive of not being scored on in the state cup through eight games in their three straight title runs. Though they are known for their free-flowing possession-based attack, the defensive record is also a point of pride for the team playing in a system that requires complete buy-in and dedication to hard work on and off the field of play.

“It means so much to all of us to get this far and to do this for the parents especially and to show our appreciation to the club,” said Anna Buckwalter, a Binghamton University-bound defender who is also playing for Reading United in the WPSL this summer. “This club has always been crazy supportive and playing ‘The Reds Way’ is the way we’ve committed to playing. It’s definitely not easy but it’s a very creative style and it’s fun to play.”

Executing their style of play has led to great results both on the field and in recruitment to the next level with the senior-heavy roster all moving on to play soccer in college.

“They’ve definitely earned those commitments,” Franks said of the players heading to college. “There are 10 players committed to Division 1 schools, there are two committed to Division 2 schools, two committed to Division 3 schools and one yet to commitment who is a 2025. Since they were U15s all the way through to this year college coaches have just been coming to watch us play and that was exciting. We play a specific style of soccer, we implement our developmental methods into each training session. It’s been awesome building relationships with college coaches too and speaking on their behalf and about them to college coaches.”

Sunday’s NCS State Cup finals also saw a repeat winners at the U19 age division with Penn FC Youth 2005s beating Warrington SC United 3-0 in the girls final. Mike Gorni and Hex FC repeated at the U19 boys division with a 3-2 win over FC Delco NAL 05 and Hunter SC ’62Blues beat Sporting PA 2006 to win the first NCS State Cup title in club history.

Matthew Ralph is the managing editor of Philadelphia Soccer Now / Brotherly Game. He's covered soccer at all levels for many years in the Philadelphia region and has also written for, NPSL, PrepSoccer and other publications. He lives with his wife and two young children in Broomall, Pa., but grew up in South Jersey and is originally from Kansas.

Copyright © 2024 Philadelphia Soccer Now and Brotherly Game

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