CARROLLTON, Texas -- When Real GP '97B played in its first competitive tournament as a recreational team during the inaugural Copa ESPN in 2009, the team’s run to the finals raised eyebrows around the Metroplex.
Returning to its first Copa ESPN tournament since that magical run -- now as a select soccer team -- Real GP picked up where it left off two years ago, defeating Andromeda '97B Red 1-0 in the Boys U-14 bracket Friday.
“They were a good team,” Real GP head coach Sergio Garcia said. “I can’t tell you how I feel. I’m still in shock. I can’t believe we actually beat that team -- a premier team.”
Angel Prieto started at forward for the first time with Real GP, moving from his normal position at defender. The switch would pay off, as Prieto collected the only goal on a rebound of his own shot.
Andromeda would make a number of attempts on goal, but Real GP did just enough defensively to hold on to its narrow lead by deflecting shots and standing firm until the final whistle.
“We really want to win this tournament so we can show everybody that we’re not just a good select team. We don’t care who they are, we just play versus them and play our best. It would mean a lot to us to win this tournament.”
Garcia said Real GP’s results in 2009 gave the team confidence that it could match talented teams stride for stride and thinks this win will elevate Real GP to another level.
“It means that we can actually beat anybody, it doesn’t matter if they’re a premier, Division I, II, III or classic," he said. "We, as a select, can beat anybody if we work for it.”
The winner of the U-14 bracket will get an all-expenses paid trip to Orlando, Fla., to play in the Disney Cup International on July 11-16.
Other U-14 scores:
TFC '97 2, FC Tlapehuala 0
Dallas Tigres Academy '97B 2, Kicks FC '98B 0
In the first match of the U-16 bracket, Kicks FC 96B defeated Chelsea FC 3-0.
The author of one of the goals was forward Jose Chevez, who said he has accepted a scholarship to play for the Dallas Texans Academy and will begin play in August.
Chevez said Kicks is using last year’s U-15 semi-finals lost as motivation to win it all this year. Kicks made a costly error in picking up a ball ruled in play as it was heading out of bounds, which led to a penalty kick and cost the team a shot at the title.
“Last time we lost because of a mistake in the box because a defender picked it up with his hands,” Chevez said. “But this time there’s no mistakes and we’re going to win.”
Other U-16 scores:
Atlas 1, Kernow Storm FC Kernow Storm '95 0
TSSA Maquina 1, FC Toros 0
Solar Gold '03 6, Wizards FC '03 0
ASG '03 2, Oak Cliff Soccer OC Dallas Pre 0
Manchester United Red Devils 6, Leon Futbol Leon FC '02 0
Dallas Texans South '02 -9, Mexico '01 0
Wizards FC Wizards 00 2, Irving Soccer Assn. Galaxy 99 0
Manchester United Red Devils 00 4, Irving United 0
Dallas Texans South 99 3, FC Tlapehuala 0