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2007 Take Fourth Place at LaxaCup

The 2007 made a tremendous impact in their first international club tour, coming in FOURTH place at the LaxaCup in Halmstad, Sweden. Entering uncharted waters, it was unclear how the side would fare in matches against foreign teams. Needless to say, the boys played with spirit and courage and opened up the tournament with a 4-2 victory over Trollhättan based side, Skoftebyns IF. 2008 player Julian Hall made an immediate impact picking up a brace (with assists  by Liam Biggers and FA Euro Academy product Filippo Testini) while debutant Matias Apple and Benjamin Julca picking up a goal a piece. The side played some beautiful and attractive football earning recognition from the Swedish locals as well as impressing Halmstad BK's scouts. The boys would went on to pick up victories against BK Ljungsbro Grön (4-1), where team captain Gianluca Convertini nabbed a spectacular hat trick, IF Böljan Falkenberg (6-0), and IF Centern (3-1). Their four consecutive victories placed the 2007 side at the top of their group as they proceeded into the knock out stages with confidence.

Daniel Palapa, Julian Hall and Filippo Testini being interviewed

FA Euro drew FK Karlskrona in the knock-out stage. A free kick scored by Liam Biggers in the opening minutes gave FA Euro the lead. But a lapse in concentration saw the boys down three goals as FK Karlskrona aggressive attacking play rewarded them with an unexpected, flash 4-1 lead. However, the boys did not waver. Garnering support from the 2005 players and traveling parents watching from the stands, two goals from Julian Hall and Filippo Testini cut the deficit to one goal. FA Euro went out all out on the attack, with several chances just going wide of an equalizer in what would have been a comeback miracle. However, time was running out and luck wasn't on the boys' side. The match ended in a tough loss, as the 2007 picked up their first defeat of the tournament. Despite the heartbreak, the 2007 were consoled in a beautiful moment as the 2005 showed their support as the boys marched off the field with their heads held up high, amidst applause by both the opposing team and spectators. The boys went on to face Halmstad BK, the latest team affiliated with FA Euro, in a closely contested yet highly entertaining match that saw Halmstad pick up a 4-2 victory. However, both sides were lauded for their efforts as a showcase of football was on full on display. The 2007 would play their last match, losing to Bromölla IF in a 4-2 loss, closing out 4th place out of a impressive 30 teams.

The 2007 and 2005 Team with Halmstad BK First Team Players

“I know I speak for Coach Johan and myself when I say it was an absolute joy to work with this talented group in Sweden. On the field, the boys played with freedom and grit, expressed themselves, and showed the quality and class of player that we can develop in America. They represented the club with pride and left a meaningful impression on all the Swedish coaches and players at the tournament. Even more impressive to me was that the boys were just as impressive off the field as they were on it. They embraced new experiences, supported each other, and didn’t take the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live like a player in a professional academy for granted. I was amazed each day by their maturity but also by their creativity, inclusiveness, and intelligence. It was a special trip with a special group and I look forward to taking this experience into our fall season back in New York.” - Coach Ben Marcu

2007 Roster

GK - Devin Tuvey, Filippo Testini, Matias Apple, Michael Naula, Julian Hall, Liam Biggers, Spencer Palapa, Gianluca Convertini, Giovanni Jacobo, Nathan Barenbaum, Benjamin Julca, Brandon Cortes

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