Joining in with the younger 2007 group, the 2005 side, led by Adam Marcu, sealed a spot in the top 10 of their age group at Sweden's coveted LaxaCup, one of the country's most famous youth tournaments. The team saw a majority of successful results with a total record of 5 wins and 3 losses. The side started the tournament strong, with a tight 2-1 comeback victory against Staffanstorp United, after going down a goal from a converted penalty. Brian Arias made the difference, netting a brace with two outrageous panenka efforts, helping the team achieve a well fought victory.
The boys' next match was a against local favorites, Halmstads BK, which proved an exciting and difficult affair. Despite a strong performance, the 2005 boys fell to Halmstads BK 3-0, although the score line flattered the tournament hosts and did not do justice to the 2005 boys' performance. FA Euro played with confidence and quality, holding a large portion of possession and creating a number of guilt-edged scoring opportunities, but a second penalty in as many matches changed the tide of the match and was likely its deciding factor. With newfound hunger and a massive point to prove, the boys faced Ekerö IK. After controlling the game, but misfiring early on, the boys finally found their shooting boots and cruised to a 3-0 shutout victory. With two wins and one loss, the boys were looking for some consistency in their results, which they unfortunately did not find, losing back-to-back games against Bjärreds IF and Lunds BK. The latter result ostensibly eliminated the 2005 boys from the running for a first place finish. However, with spots 10 through 16 still up for grabs, they would still turn some heads with a Top 10 finish.
With nothing to lose and a chip on their shoulder the boys won 3-0 against Högaborgs BK in their next match, setting up an exciting final day of play. On Sunday morning, the boys appeared hungry and focused as they set their sites on three points against Krokeks IK in their penultimate match. After a back-and-forth affair, our boys in navy and yellow bested the Swedish side 3-1. With one last game left to play, and a spot in the top 10 up for grabs, the 2005 boys seemed determined to finish the tournament in the way they had started it—with a hard fought win, if that turned out to be what was required. The boys managed a win over Eneby BK, scoring 3 and conceding 1, outworking and outclassing their opposition along the way to securing their place in the Top 10.
“The success or failure was always going to be down to the players,” said 2005 Head Coach Adam Marcu. “That’s what we communicated to the boys at the start of the trip. We set a goal to learn from each match and improve from start to finish. I think they did that.” When asked about his role in the favorable team outcome, Coach Adam was quick to shift credit onto his players: “The games are twenty minute halves—there is virtually no coaching—just trying to get everybody out on the field with a chance to make a difference. And everybody did just that. They made a difference. Players coming off the bench scored in every one of our matches. The boys were mentally tough, physically willing, and technically capable. I’m incredibly proud of each and every one of them, as well as the boys that didn’t join us for this trip, as they all played a key role in our ultimate success. I hope we can do many more trips like this. The boys learn more in a week than we can teach them in 3 months back home. It’s not a knock on us, it’s just the beauty and spirit of this game. It was a great week and a wonderful experience. I’m excited for the next challenge now.”
The club is immensely proud of our 2005 and 2007 teams, who not only represented the club, but also United States soccer as the only American team in the entire tournament. The boys were role models and leaders on and off the field and represented their colors, and their country with grace, grit and pride, as required.
2005 Roster: Brian Arias, Jude Boyle, Shane Charles, Brandon Cortes, Timofey Dikarev, Vladimir Golyak, Demetri Gournelos, Giovanni Jacobo, Josiah John, Jacob Kumer, Alan Nestrenko, Daniel Palapa, Samuel Ronin, Avinash Singh, Avi Tejeiro, Robert Wojtczak