In stunning fashion, the Coronado Youth Soccer League’s nationally-ranked boys under-13 team, NADO BU13 Premier, climbed its way to the top of Presidio League’s premier division by notching two victories in the first weekend of November and claimed its first premier regular season title in only its second year at the premier level.
On Saturday, NADO topped a feisty Tiffinys Pachuca squad in Vista (6-3) setting up a winner-take-all contest with the league-leading Pumas Premier Club of Chula Vista at Coronado Cays on Sunday afternoon. In a match played earlier in the season, NADO handed the Pumas their only loss of the season, but heading into Sunday’s league championship showdown, NADO found themselves two points down in the standings, making the rematch a must-win in order to emerge as league champion. In an absolutely thrilling game featuring speed and more speed, NADO struggled early with offensive possession but kept the match scoreless through the 35-minute half due in large measure to some heroic goalkeeping by Coronado’s Auguste Melden as well as the heads up play of a myriad of NADO defenders and midfielders determined to keep the Pumas out of the goal.
Coach Manny Neves made a few adjustments at halftime, and NADO came out of the gate quickly after the break, and his well-conditioned squad began to grind down the Pumas by contesting every ball possession. About fifteen minutes into the second half, NADO’s Oscar Aguilar found daylight and punched the ball past the Pumas keeper for the only score of the match. Each squad threatened throughout the remainder of the contest, but NADO deftly protected the precious one-goal advantage through the final whistle. Although either team was deserving of the victory Sunday, a jubilant bunch of NADO boys immediately gathered in the center of the field to celebrate in the same manner that led to their rapid rise as league champions, as a team.
The weekend wins earned NADO a 9-1-2 record overall. As one of many Coronado spectators on the sideline Sunday, it was a real pleasure to witness such a well-coached, superbly officiated, and well-played match between two extremely talented youth soccer teams. Moments before the team drenched their coach in a victorious Gatorade shower, Coach Neves briefly addressed the boys and expressed his pride in their will to win a match of such magnitude. To all who gave up a part of their weekend to come out and support the boys, the NADO BU13 Premier team extends its thanks for all the enthusiasm and encouragement provided from the hometown fans! The team now begins to ready itself for post-season tournament play enroute to National Cup competition in March.Thanks for all of your support on Sunday!!!!
Photo By: Kel Casey