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Arlington soccer teams to compete in national tournaments

Two local boys soccer teams have qualified to compete at national tournaments.

The 2005 Boys Red team is set to participate in the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship from July 19-24 in Orlando, Florida, according to a news release from the Arlington Soccer Association.

Another team from the association, the 2006 Boys Academy team, is set to participate in the quarterfinals of the Elite Clubs National League National Playoffs. The tournament is scheduled between July 15-18 outside of St. Louis.

The 2005 Boys Red team gained its qualification by winning 2-0 over FC Bucks Dominion from Pennsylvania in the U.S. Youth Soccer U17 Eastern Regional Championship in Charleston, West Virginia on June 29. The team is made up of students from different schools who are below of the age of 17.

“Arlington Soccer Association 05B Red (VA) put forth a dominant showing at the Eastern Regional Championships,” said a press release from U.S. Youth Soccer. “Going 6-0-0 in the span of seven days, they demonstrated extreme toughness and grit, highlighted by a 2-0 win over Council Rock United FC Bucks DOMINION 2005 Boys (PA-E) in the final. Arlington scored 17 goals and only gave up one goal.”

This is the first time the 2005 Boys Red players have gone to the USYS National Championship, its coach Matt Badiee said. In preparation for the finals, Badiee is planning on organizing a few more additional practices on top of the usual practices the team has. The team currently practices at least three times a week.

He is focused on making his team more consistent on the tactical side, such as being able to “finish their chances when they are in their attacking third” as well as “reading the game” based on their opponents’ actions, said Badiee.

The 2006 Boys Academy Team advanced to the quarterfinals in the ECNL National Playoffs by defeating Marin FC of California by 4-0 on June 30. Most of the players on the team are between 15 and 16 years old, its coach Oscar Feliu said.

This team is not set to change its practice schedule significantly before the national tournament. Instead, Feliu planned to add “some fun” during the team’s practices to help the players feel less nervous. He added that he would focus on “[cleaning] up a few tactical details” and the team “recovering physically [or] mentally these next few days.”

“Our hope is that we can be ourselves on the field, that we play together as a team, embrace the competitive challenge and play in a way that regardless of the final result we have no regrets when we step off the field,” Feliu said.

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