Dynamo U-13 advances in State Cup

February 12, 2002|By TOM RONCO

Special to this newspaper

PALM DESERT — Gaining two wins and a tie in opening-round pool play, the Dynamo of El Centro U-13 Select soccer team finished tied for first in its bracket in the California Youth Soccer Association 2002 Open State Cup competition here Saturday and Sunday.

Dynamo advances to this weekend's "Round of 32" at the CYSA complex in San Bernardino, where it will face Cornejo Valley United at 9 a.m. Saturday.

"This is the best State Cup I've ever had," said Dynamo manager Steve Walker. "It's the gutsiest performance I've seen. Usually we are tired on Sunday but these guys were awesome."


Dynamo opened Saturday with a 1-0 victory over the Irvine SC Strikers when Rigo Fernandez of El Centro headed in a corner kick by Edson Oceguera in the 20th minute.

Jimmy Graham picked up the shutout in goal, with Javier Alvarado of El Centro and Leonardo Rosales of Imperial at twin sweepers controlling the Strikers' offense.

"It's based on not allowing any ‘space' behind our mid-field and forcing the other teams to be creative and force them wide," said Graham.

Dynamo next faced the USA/Hot Spurs Elite from El Cajon Sunday and battled to a 0-0 tie.

Controlling play at mid-field was Pedro Ramirez of El Centro, with Graham picking up his second shutout.

"It's the kind of match where going in you would be happy with a tie," said Graham. "But in reality, we controlled the ball for 60 of the 70 minutes and had numerous opportunities to win the thing."

Dynamo needed a victory in its final pool match to keep alive hopes of advancing.

"It's tough to be in a must-win situation after playing such a tough team," said Graham. "But these guys went after Beach SC full bore; they never took their foot off the gas."

Dynamo took command of its own fate with a 2-1 win over Beach SC White from Seal Beach.

Having failed to convert a penalty kick earlier in the first half, Dynamo received a second chance when Beach was called for a hand ball inside the penalty box.

Holtville's Jose Villareal put the penalty kick shot in the lower right corner of the goal to give Dynamo a 1-0 halftime lead.

Ten minutes into the second half, Dynamo scored the winning goal when Villareal took a corner kick that the Beach goalkeeper pushed to the edge of the penalty box.

Oceguera took one touch to control the ball out of the air before hammering it into the goal.

Dynamo faces the task of winning four games in two days due to changes in the CYSA format.

"The State Cup was always a pressure cooker, but in the past once you got by the first weekend it was one game a day," said Walker. "This new format with four games in two days is the ultimate pressure cooker."

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