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Dynamo U-13 head to title game in Temecula

June 24, 2002|By TOM RONCO, Special to this newspaper

TEMECULA — Surrendering just one goal in four matches, the Dynamo of El Centro U-13 select soccer team marched its way to the divisional championship match at the second annual SouthWest Soccer Classic, where it will face the Arsenal FC Gunners of Alta Loma at the Corona Ranch Sod Farm here today.

The championship game will mark the seventh time in as many tournaments that Dynamo has reached the final match.

"You've got to consider that fact exceptional," said coach Jim Graham. "We won the first, then lost four in a row before we won the Corinthians tourney in May.

"It's really an amazing record, but it demonstrates that the players have been learning how to advance World Cup-style," Graham added.

Dynamo opened pool play Saturday with a 2-0 victory over the Puma Soccer Academy Canyon team.

Edson Oceguera of Heber scored on a header and Leonardo Rosales of Imperial converted on a penalty kick.

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Next Dynamo faced last year's State Cup runner-up, the Clairmont Stars, which the El Centro team tied 1-1. Javier Alvarado of El Centro scored a header goal off a corner kick.

On Sunday, Dynamo got a 2-0 victory over the Desert FIRPO, this year's Coast Section Elite Division undefeated champions.

Dynamo lead 1-0 at half on a header by Pedro Ramirez off a cross by Oceguera. In the second half a direct free kick by Jose Villareal of Holtville sealed the victory.

"It shows that the players now understand how to play more than one critical match in a day and do it against a high level of competition," said Graham.

Also Sunday, Dynamo drew the Presidio League Premier's Leucadia Lightning in the semifinals, beating that team 2-0 on a pair of Rigo Fernandez of El Centro goals.

"To get to the finals, we had to have some players step up," said assistant coach Juan Rodriguez. "That's certainly true of Rigo and of Jimmy Graham of El Centro in goal, who has three shut-outs at this level."

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