FRISCO, Texas (July 27, 2016) – Under-14 Boys SLA Nomads 01 (CA-S) defeated defending National Champion Baltimore Darby 01/02 (MD), 2-1, thanks to Rafael Dominguez’s penalty-kick goal in the second half at the 2016 US Youth Soccer National Championships in Frisco, Texas.
SLA Nomads, which finished in second place in the 2015-16 US Youth Soccer National League Red Division, needed a win to stay alive at the National Championships after coming up short against West Pines United Carrillo (FL) on day one.
“This win was very important after a hard loss yesterday, and we now have the opportunity to control our own destiny,” SLA Nomads head coach Hernan Garcia Guardado said. “There are no soft cookies in this tournament. Everyone is tough and has good experience.”
SLA began the scoring in the first half when Anthony Cervantes turned a Baltimore Darby center back before smoothly finishing with his left foot for the opening goal. However, just minutes later, the defending National Champions and two-time Region I Champions drew level when 2015 National Championships Golden Ball winner Theodore Ndje finished off a cross from Peter Mangione to knot things up at one apiece.
“We are pretty excited. The boys did very well. I wish I could play,” Garcia Guardado said with a smile. “Our opponents did a great job as well, and it came down to the last minute.”
It was Cervantes again giving Baltimore Darby trouble with his run in the second half. Cervantes was taken down in the box, and Dominguez converted the penalty kick against 2015 National Championships Golden Glove winner Grant Farley to give the Southern California side the 2-1 win.
“There is definitely nothing guaranteed here -- not a win, not a tie and not a goal. Every athlete out here is on the professional level, and the coaches are on a professional level,” Garcia Guardado said. “The scouts are going to have a lot of difficulty choosing players. The fields are beautiful, the referees are good and the competition is hard. Every win counts.”
SLA Nomads will try to secure a spot in the semifinals on the final day when it takes on LVSA 02 Red (NV), while Baltimore Darby will take on West Pines United Carrillo (FL).