The Texas Winter Classic was the most notable tournament played in NTX year to date. It featured some great competition in multiple age groups. None were more interesting than the U12 boys Gold Division. The division's final featured 09 Allegiance FC (ranked #1 in the state, #9 nationally) versus Solar Pre-MLS (ranked #2 in the state, #25 nationally). Solar edged out a close win to be crowned the U12 Gold Champions.... but should they be crowned as even more?
The celebrations are loud and clear. Lots of social media posts from Solar parents, claiming to be the better team:
With such buzz and celebration, we decided to take a peek at the game itself. Specifically because the #1 ranking was potentially impacted by this game. Check out the highlights:
Basically, Solar takes an early 2-0 lead into half time, then yields a goal late, while holding off the surge of attacks from Allegiance's forwards.
When asked about the result the Allegiance coach stated “We lost to a good team that defended especially well. Their keeper must have had 20 saves, he was the man of the match. They had two good opportunities and finished them, and then spent the rest of the game defending. I really enjoyed the game, it was good for my boys to realize just how good they are. We lost a U12 game and it becomes news, it gets no crazier than that. Feels like I’m in Spain, good for the soccer culture. I blame this on Coach Chris, he parked the bus and beat us 3 years ago. Now we see it weekly. But on a serious note, that team has improved significantly. Major props to them. But as for the better team claims, We have our standard set at FC Barcelona, Man City and those guys not here."
Another person was quoted saying “Everton beats Man United and suddenly they think they’re better.”
It's a tough loss for Allegiance, compounded by the fact that Solar seems to have parked the bus to protect their early lead. In our film review, we counted up to 7 players dropped into defensive positioning (in a 9v9 match) at different moments after halftime. While this is a common technique used by teams while defending a lead, it's a frustrating one for a team like Allegiance, who prides themselves on playing a possession dominant style. So, for how long will the bragging rights stand? Thanks to the good folks at the Michael Brown Tournament; the rematch will happen on Sunday:
Will Solar take the W again or will Allegiance continue their national dominance? We will be watching..700