It’s been a busy year for the U14 team. Back in April which seems like years and many games ago the team returned from the 2012 Dallas Cup. Club Director Joe Barone was with the team that night in LaGuardia Airport as the players departed the plane. He told them that this was just the start for them and that this group was “going to take off from this experience, and hit the ground running”. Boy was he ever right!
Since Dallas, the team over Memorial Day weekend won the Massapequa tournament out on Long Island and plans were set in motion to start preparing for a trip to Blaine, Minnesota for the USA CUP. “This is a great bunch of kids, they all get along, and really focus on the team concept the training sessions have been very good said Head Coach Mirsad Huseinovic.
The team departed for Minneapolis last Thursday and played its first game of the tournament on Friday 7/13 against Neehan SC Fire representing Wisconsin. The Italians came away with a convincing 6-0 win paced by forward Alex Sosa’s hat trick. “The guys played really well, and it’s important to start a tournament like this on a high note, but there still a lot of soccer to go” said a confident but cautious head coach Mirsad Huseinovic.
Coach Huseinovic was right as the Italians next two contests of the preliminary round were both draws. First 1-1 vs. PSA United of Minnesota and then 0-0 against South Suburban Academy of Illinois. “Both these games were tough, but I feel that if we had finished our chances we would have come away with the maximum points. But, it’s enough to get us into the next round” the coach commented.
The semifinal matched them up against MKSC Elite of Wisconsin and the Italians came away with the 2-1 victory to send them into the final. “Everyone battled and worked hard” was how team captain Ahmad Elfaham put it.
The final saw them meet up again with South Suburban academy. But this one was no scoreless draw. The Italians won this contest decisively by a 4-1 margin. “I can’t say enough how proud we are of the team, they have worked hard and have made tremendous strides” said manager Lou Mollica. “The entire club is behind each of our teams whenever they travel weather it’s the 14s or the 12s which just returned from a very successful trip to Rome” added Director Barone.
The team will be staying in Minnesota until the 22nd as they will compete in the USA Cup International tournament. For the future the plans will be decided by Coach Huseinovic and his staff on where they will compete next. “The Virginia Cup sounds like a possibility, its Labor Day weekend before the guys head back to school so it maybe a nice getaway for the players and there families before summer ends. Then of course we have our own Columbus Cup here in NYC and our next major goal will hopefully be the IMG Tournament in December down in Bradenton, Florida” added manager Mollica.