Under-19 Boys Concorde Fire Elite (GA) defeats PDA Harkes (NJ) 1-0
With spots on the line in the Under-19 Boys James P. McGuire Cup final both teams left everything on the field in this last game of group play.
The game was a physical battle as both teams went hard and fast for every loose ball and every aerial challenge. Neither team refused to give its opponent an inch of space as defenders from both sides were constantly closing quickly on the ball.
PDA, needing only a tie to advance, looked in prime position as they held Concorde at 0-0 entering halftime. Concorde looked to regroup at the half as only a win would allow them advance out of the group and into the final.
Concorde escaped near disaster as PDA’s Maximilian Kroschwitz dribbled through two Concorde defenders and got in on goal against the keeper. Concorde’s keeper managed to make a huge save but the rebound bounced back to Kroscwitz who got a second great chance at goal. Kroschwitz didn’t connect well and sent the ball sailing over the top of goal and Concorde breathed a sigh of relief.
With only five minutes to play, Concorde’s Jordan Duru got a cross over the fingertips of the PDA keeper and teammate Cameron Rohani put the ball into the back of the PDA net to give Concorde a 1-0 lead. PDA pushed for a late equalizer but Concorde held on for the 1-0 win.
“It’s unbelievable that we’re in the final but it kind of hasn’t hit me because we scored so late,” said Concorde head coach Steve Mucillo. “We were scrambling to make adjustments to try and score.”
Even with the loss, PDA will advance on goal differential as they got some help with Alum Rock PAC Tigres (CA-N) beating Raytown SC BGFC 94/95 (MO) 3-2 in the group’s other game.
“They’re an exceptional team,” continued Mucillo. “They played very smart today. Their team is always working for each other. They are a very unified team, and the final match will be what we expected this game would be, another hard fought battle.”
“These boys know what the McGuire Cup is. It means a great deal to them and they obviously know the significance of the trophy and the fact that it’s the oldest youth sports trophy in the United States. These boys want to be the first team from Georgia to win it, so we’re very excited to have earned the chance to play for it.”
Concorde and PDA will play for the most coveted trophy in all of youth sports, the James P. McGuire Cup, Saturday at 8 PM Eastern Time. Make sure you tune in as the battle for the Under-19 Boys James P. McGuire Cup will be streamed live online at championships.usyouthsoccer.org/live.