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A very shorthanded and tired Vélez managed a 1-1-1 record in the top bracket of the Nether Field of Dreams tournament. Playing six regulars and three non-regulars, the Vélez managed to tie a very talented Mountaintop team. Seeing that a passing game was not going to be possible with cast at hand, we switched to a more individual dribbling strategy that saw some of the most inspiring youth soccer in the state. Brando was simply awesome as the central midfielder. Missing as many kids as we were, we tried to focus on as much technical development as possible while still trying to win the games. I believe this was achieved as our technical play was absolutely brilliant at times.
A depleted Vélez team will face formidable opponents this weekend. 7 regulars and 2 guests will comprise the Spring Break squad that will face the Mountaintop Blitz, South Huntington Rugrats, and Pennridge Panthers. It should be a fun and exciting weekend as this will be the Velezians' last tournament prior to tryouts and the 2002-3 team.
Bethesda proved to be the best team in the bracket beating Vélez 2-0 in a cold and rainy morning at the Jefferson Cup. Goals were conceded from a botched goal kick and off of a PK. Both teams had opportunities to score but the compactness of the Roadrunners and their quick one touch movement of the ball on counter attacks proved to be too much for us to handle at times. Bethesda clearly came out to play challenging every ball and winning almost everything in the air. How they get ten year old kids to head a ball with such consistency and regularity is a marvel especially since most programs do not begin to teach heading until at least the U11 year. Vélez will continue to stick to its current development program and will not modify its itinerary to catch up to Bethesda. We will incorporate elements that will enhance our current style of play and will therefore make us more compatible, but we will not go out and reinvent ourselves. By U12's the elite teams of the region will be pretty much equal anyhow.
With both teams being 2-0, the Bethesda Roadrunners will be challenging the Mighty Vélez in what is ultimately a semi-final tomorrow at 9:30 AM at Striker Fields. Good Luck to the Velezians who have been hard at work for a year preparing for this game.