A central Ohio club soccer team has won a Midwest Regional Cup title each of the past two summers after local squads failed to do so the previous six years.

A central Ohio club soccer team has won a Midwest Regional Cup title each of the past two summers after local squads failed to do so the previous six years.

The Blast F.C. Under-15 boys team won a Regional Cup in 2009, and the Crew Juniors U-19 boys squad won regional and national championships last year.

Heading into the 2011 Regional Cup tournament, which will be held Saturday through Wednesday, June 25-29,in Fox Cities, Wis., Crew Juniors U-19 boys coach Brian Bliss said he wouldn't be surprised if a central Ohio squad won a regional championship for the third consecutive season.

However, Bliss said it will be difficult for the five local boys teams and four local girls squads to win their age brackets regardless of their talent level.

"Sometimes it's more difficult to win the Regional Cup than the national tournament because you have to play five games in five days in the regional tournament and there's very little room for error," Bliss said. "A lot of people have forgotten, but we were three minutes away from being eliminated from pool play in the regional tournament last year before we rallied (for a 3-1 win over Everest Soccer Club) to reach the semifinals. A lot of teams have the talent and potential to win this tournament, but you need to make plays at the right time to get it done."

More than 270 preliminary games will be played as boys and girls U.S. Youth SoccerState Cup champions, select wildcards and Midwest Regional League qualifiersin the U-13 through U-19 age groups compete. All of the age groups have been divided into three- or four-team brackets, and every team will play a game within its bracket June 25, 26 and 27.

The bracket winners will move on to semifinals June 28, with regional finals played June 29.

Regional champions in the U-14 through U-19 age groups will advance to the U.S. Youth Soccer Association National Championships onJuly27-31 in Phoenix.

Ohio Premier Eagles club director Chris King said teams need to do more than play well to win a Regional Cup. They also need some luck.

"You have to play well and find a way to win against great competition, but a lot of this comes down to luck," said King, who helped guide the Ohio Premier U-13 girls team to a regional championship in 2002. "In the closer games, you may need to have a few bounces or a referee's call go your way.

"The luck of the draw is another big factor because teams aren't seeded at regional and there have been a lot of years where the top two or three teams in the regional end up in the same bracket of pool play, and some of the better teams get eliminated early on."

Local teams that won State Cup championships to advance to the Regional Cup are: the Classics Eagles U-13 boys, Team Ohio F.C. U-17 boys, Team Ohio F.C. U-18 boys, Crew Juniors U-19 boys, OhioPremier Eagles U-13 girls, Ohio Premier Eagles U-16 girls and Ohio Premier Eagles U-19 girls.

The Ohio Premier Eagles U-18 girls squad qualified as a representative of the Midwest Regional League and the Team Ohio F.C. U-16 boys team qualified as a State Cup tournament wildcard.

This will be the third appearance for the Team Ohio F.C. U-16boys, Ohio Premier Eagles U-16 girls, Ohio Premier Eagles U-18 girls and Ohio Premier Eagles U-19 girls, andthe second appearance for the Team Ohio F.C. U-17 boys.

"Any of us have a chance to win it," Team Ohio F.C. club director Steve Dawson said. "If you have good coaching and have kids who stick together and play well together, you can compete at the regional level."