Local adult soccer team to play exhibition Sunday

The Protected, an adult men’s soccer team sponsored by the French Soccer Academy and based out of Oak Harbor, will play an exhibition match Sunday, April 25, at Wildcat Memorial Stadium at 3 p.m.

The Protected will continue to play most Sundays in preparation for the U.S. Open Cup. Qualification for the Cup will start with the Region 4 tournament in Sacramento the weekend of May 21.

The U.S. Open Cup is the United States soccer championship and is open to all adult teams, amateur and professional. The professional teams don’t join the tournament until the third round. Last year the Seattle Sounders, a Major League Soccer member, captured the Cup.

The Protected is a member of the National Premier Soccer League and will begin play in its Northwest Conference next season. The league is composed of 31 teams across the United States. The Northwest Conference includes five other teams; one is based out of Oregon and four out of California.

The NPSL was developed to promote the highest level of soccer among high school, collegiate and former professional players.

The Protected is coached and owned by Mikael Kerleau-Idrissi, who runs the French Soccer Academy with Sebastian Le Toux. They created the Academy to promote the French style of coaching and soccer.

They chose Oak Harbor as the home of the Protected because Kerleau-Idrissi moved to Whidbey Island several years ago and was joined by Le Toux last year when he was a member of the Seattle Sounders. Le Toux plays for Philadelphia this season.

The Protected draws players from all over Northwest Washington, and several players have recently moved to the area from Yakima to play for the local club, according to team spokesman Connor Adams.

Oak Harbor residents Golf Brooks and Jesus Amercua-Acuna are on the roster. In the Protected’s first exhibition last Sunday, Amercua-Acuna scored two goals in a 3-3 tie with a team from Yakima.

The members of the Protected currently do not get paid, but they will share the profit of gate receipts in the future, according to Adams.

For more information about the Protected, email or visit the Web site

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