NEWTON, MA — It was a rainy and brisk Sunday afternoon as the U13 MLS Next squad took on Cedar Stars Academy. Kickoff was slated for 4:30pm, and once the referee blew the whistle, the fireworks began.
It was a back and forth matchup between two familiar foes to start the game, each team creating their own chances, moving up and down the field and teasing the opponents net minders with shot attempts at the top of their respective boxes, but through the first twenty minutes, neither team could find the breakthrough. Valeo’s goalkeeper Paul would make several key saves to keep the home side in the fight. However, soon after, a ball would be played through down the right flank sending a Cedar Stars forward in alone on a breakaway finding the back of the net to make it 1-0 Cedar Stars.
This would not deter Valeo’s ambitions as right away they would storm down the field creating multiple set pieces, corner kicks, free kicks, but none would get by the Cedar Stars goalkeeper. A few minutes before the end of the first half, an accidental giveaway would give Cedar Stars the ball just outside the box, putting a shot low past Valeo’s goalkeeper into the bottom lefthand corner making it 2-0.
Early on in the second half, Valeo would come out of the gate aggressively and would slot one past the Cedar Stars keeper off of a corner kick. They would continue to push throughout the second half, but one would be all they could muster, and that’s how the score would finish, 1-2.
Valeo’s U13 MLS Next squad returns to action next week October 29th when they take on NEFC on the road.
It was a weekend full of excitement and energy for multiple Valeo squads this past weekend. Over the holiday weekend, Valeo sent teams to two different tournaments. The first was the Seacoast United Ocean Cup in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and the second was the EDP Fall Cup in New Jersey.
Some of the highlights
On the first day of the Seacoast United Ocean Cup, the 2012 girls won both of their games they played that day, and the 2011 girls won their only matchup of the day. The 2012 girls would push all the way to the finals, but would unfortunately fall in a 2-0 final score losing on a penalty kick and wacky own goal. The 2014 girls would make their respective run all the way to the finals as well, only to lost 1-0 in penalty kicks. That wouldn’t dampen any of their spirits though as they all left with their heads held high.
The boys 2013 Napoli squad would finish first in their bracket with six total points. With a 2-2 and 4-2 result, the 2013 Boston boys would finish second in their respective bracket. The 2011 Rangers and Celtic squads would finish second and first in their U12 brackets.
The EDP Fall Cup saw the 2014 Bayern boys squad battle in a competitive group all the way to a third place finish with a 7-3 win, 5-5 draw, and 3-5 loss.
Both tournaments saw several Valeo squads finish in the top halves of their respective brackets. It was a weekend full of great soccer, elite development, lots of smiles, and even more fun.
NEWTON, MA – A 90 degree 7:00 pm kickoff was a foreshadowing of the heat that this game between Cedar Stars FC and Valeo FC would bring. It was the #2 vs the #3 seed in the semifinal of the North Atlantic Conference playoffs. The first time these two faced off it was a 5-0 Valeo win; the second game was an exhilarating 4-3 come-from-behind win for Valeo. Cedar Stars did not forget those games.
Valeo did come out on the front foot, winning a penalty kick in the fourth minute. Leading goal scorer Matthew Bell would put the goal in the bottom left hand corner of the goal, sending Cedar Stars goalkeeper Daniel DiMarco the wrong way.
However, just one minute later, a ball would be sent in Valeo’s box leading to a driven shot that was saved initially by Valeo’s keeper Zach Rowell. Gunnar Studenhufft, who had a hat trick in their last match, would bury the rebound for the Cedar Stars.
Valeo would not take their foot off the gas creating eight shots on goal. DiMarco would stand strong stopping all eight to keep the half 1-1. The second half would be no different for Valeo’s mentality, unleashing five more dangerous shots on goal. DiMarco would continue to be the hero for Cedar Stars, stopping all five.
In the 63rd minute, Cedar Stars would earn a penalty kick of their own. Thomas Stickley would rip the penalty kick low and to the left where it would be initially saved by Rowell, but Daniel Zholendz would drive the rebound into the upper right hand corner. This would give the Cedar Stars the 2-1 lead, and that’s where the game would finish.
Cedar Stars will host the North Atlantic final as they take on the New York Shockers who upset the #1 seed Hartford City FC. The game will take place on Saturday, July 16th.