McLean Celtic Gold U14 Boys battled their way through a large bracket of teams on Memorial Day weekend to lift the Premier Bronze trophy at the 39th Annual Virginian Elite Showcase Tournament. On the opening Saturday, Celtic Gold defeated teams from Loudoun (3-1) and Staten Island, NY (3-0) with Abraham Yoon providing clinical, composed finishing to rack up hat-tricks in both games to claim the match ball.
With qualification still not certain on Sunday morning, Celtic Gold defeated Cleveland Whitecaps (3-2), with goals from Victor Andenmatten, Alex Missud and Abraham Yoon to qualify as group winners for the semi-finals to meet NVSC Royals Gold. Having lost two just two weeks earlier to NVSC in their regular-season ODSL game, the team came out determined to reverse that score line and did so with a brace of second-half goals from Abraham Yoon. Celtic Gold then defended resolutely as NVSC piled on the pressure, before conceding a consolation goal with the final kick of the game to finish 2-1 to make it into the final.
For their first time ever, the players experienced Monday-morning soccer and the traditional Champions-league style walkout and lineup before the final against Calvert Crusaders. In a game played with fantastic spirit and exemplary sportsmanship from both teams on and off the field, Celtic Gold turned on the style with some great, high-pressure play and quickly went 2-0 up in the first half with goals from Jimmy Katson and Jack Scalia. The result was put beyond doubt with another second-half brace from Abraham Yoon to make it 11 goals in five games. Calvert scored a consolation goal as players tired towards the end to finish 4-1. More importantly, both teams made new friends.
Many players on the Celtic Gold team came through the MYS Recreation and All Star program and have been playing travel soccer for less than a year. To win three travel tournament championships (Hunt Country Fall Classic, FPYC Liberty Cup and The Virginian) in their first year is a major achievement for the boys and is a testament to the quality of coaching in the MYS recreation program. Congratulations to everyone.