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Beadling Soccer Club 16U boys heading back to national championships

Greg Macafee
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The 16U Beadling Soccer Club team won the Eastern Regional tournament for the third straight year and will head to Overland Park, Kansas for the National Championship tournament during the last week of July.

For the third straight year, the 16U team for Beadling Soccer Club will be competing for the US Youth Soccer national championship between July 21-28, in Overland Park, Kansas.

In the last two years, the 16U team has reached the national championship game, but came up just short.

Coach Robert Fabean said their first year, his players were just excited to be there and then last year they were expecting to get there, but were shorthanded in the second half.

This year, he expects things to be different.

“This year, we are going back there, and we know that our opportunity of getting back there is only going to decrease after each year,” Fabean said. “Because of that, I think the boys have a renewed focus of doing all the little things right to get the job done.”

During the Eastern Regional championships in West Virginia at the beginning of July, Beadling won six of seven games and outscored opponents 18-7. Beadling’s lone loss came to Cedar Stars Monmouth, 3-1, in pool play.

“The team we lost to didn’t even make the quarterfinals,” Fabean said. “It was a fluke game; we just played a very bad game.”

After the loss, Fabean and his squad filled with players from West Allegheny, Franklin Regional, Canon-McMillan, South Fayette, Greensburg Central Catholic, Hampton, Montour, Upper St. Clair, Seneca Valley, Thomas Jefferson, and Peters Township, won three straight games to claim the regional title.

They beat Lake Grove Newfield Dynamite, 4-1, in the quarterfinals. Then, they handed the Syracuse Developmental Academy its only loss of the tournament with a 2-1 win in the semifinals. Finally, they turned in an offensive explosion in the final game of the tournament with a 5-2 victory over Baltimore Celtic Premier.

Canon McMillan rising junior Joe Fonagy led the tournament with nine goals. Fabean said, though, it wasn’t just one person who helped them return to the national championship for a third straight year.

“It’s a cumulative effort of all 17 guys,” Fabean said. “Some of the good performances from this past week came from players off the bench because we had an injury or we were trying a new formation. So, the contributions are from every player on the team, and quite frankly that’s how I would expect it. That’s how I want it to be.”

Now, Beadling heads back to the national championship tournament with a ton of experience. For the past three years, a majority of the team has stuck together. Fabean said they have added a player or two, but the culture of the team and the mindset has stayed the same.

“They are used to a culture of working hard, competing hard and playing to win,” Fabean said. “That’s the way our practices are operated, and that’s the way they operate in games. Their minds have been trained and accustomed to that work ethic. It doesn’t matter if it’s a starter or a player off the bench, they all compete at the same level.”

After two straight years of losing in the national championship, Fabean and his team are ready for another chance.

“It feels good to get a shot again and to get the job done after missing out on the first two years,” Fabean said. “So, were looking forward to another opportunity.”

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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