Thu, Feb 09 2012 01:27 PM Posted By: Staff Reports
The Nomads boys under-8 soccer team received a boost from a complement of South County players en route to capturing the 9U Division championship title at the Las Vegas Cup, held Jan. 14-16.
The team, coached by Basilio Monge, won the championship game 4-3 in overtime against the Magana Soccer Academy to take home the trophy.
“Getting to the finals was not easy, considering the team is comprised mainly of 8-year-olds played up in the 9-under division.” Monge said.
The Nomads coach credited “practice, practice, practice” for his team’s success.
“ For the most part, these boys are not multi-athletes,” Monge said. “They eat, sleep and breathe soccer. They are a dedicated group of kids with aspirations of one day playing for our academy team and professional soccer. At such a young age, all the boys have played in futsal leagues, outdoor soccer leagues and indoor soccer leagues. They play all year around and most have played well over 100 games. They have a lot of experience.”
The latter attribute showed at the recent Las Vegas tournament. The Nomads topped the tournament by beating Magana in its first game, 6-3, then defeated the Black Diamond Boys from Utah, 6-1, to end the opening day.
The following day, the Nomads were ready to repeat by defeating Manchester Academy, 4-0, before cooling down the Nevada’s Heat, 5-3, to get to the finals.
“They showed great determination and character by going undefeated in all four preliminary games, then winning the finals in overtime,” Monge said.
Striker Xavier Monge led the team in goals with 12 goals and scored the winning goal in overtime to win the championship. Most valuable player of the tournament was sweeper Gael Ruiz, who was also the second leading scorer of the tournament.
Defenders Billy Cherres, Gael Ruiz, Daniel Torres, Daniel Mendoza and Evan Gerardo led the team with a shutout against Manchester to guarantee a spot in the finals.
Midfielders and Forwards Xavier Monge, Kevin Blanchet, Gabriel Monge, Matthew Alonso, Ivan Torres and Leonardo Mandragon played spectacular together with Blanchet and Torres leading the team in assists.
Special recognition goes to goalkeepers Josue Medina and Anthony Marrujo, who both had superb saves in the suspenseful final game.
“I could not be prouder of my goalies,” the elder Monge said. “Most teams struggle to find one skilled goalie at this age level and I have two goalies beyond their years!”
Cherres, who is currently playing up as a starting left defender with the 9U Surf club, will be joining the 8U Nomads next year as the team takes aim on a Presidio League championship and a winning season.
“Watching our victory celebration after the winning goal in the last 30 seconds of the game is a memory to last a lifetime,” he Nomads coach said.
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