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World Cup-iest Youth Soccer Team 

Bay Oaks Soccer Club (Under 12)

In youth soccer, there are two kinds of leagues. One is of the low-pressure "everyone's a winner" recreational variety (spoofed to great effect on King of the Hill). And then there's the other, the Class I leagues, where competition is fierce and the level of commitment by both player and parent is enormous. The Bay Oaks Soccer Club is of the latter variety, attracting some of the East Bay's top soccer talent from tykes to teens. The club's director of coaches is Andy Bonchonsky, who coached the Cal women's soccer team for eight years. Last season, the Under 12 boys' team shone, compiling an overall record 32-7-4 (wow, 43 games!) winning the Golden Gate Soccer League District IV Gold Flight title and a couple of other championships. The U12 squad, however, fell short of capturing the Big One, losing in the semifinals of the California Youth Soccer state cup. Still, in all, the team had a great season. The club plays on fields in Oakland, Alameda, and Piedmont. Registration fees for players ten and older cost $575. "Out of league" players (those who haven't played in the Jack London Youth Soccer League or don't live in Oakland, Alameda, or Piedmont) must pay a higher fee of $875. A basic uniform costs another $100. Parents are expected to volunteer at least ten hours in some capacity.

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