The 1996 U15 boys Pinnacles soccer team has just returned from a two week European trip. The team spent the first week at the Sporting Academy where the boys had five days of intense training. They had four hours of training per day with sporting academy coaches, an opportunity not many young soccer players get.
After Portugal they headed to England to compete in the Keele International Soccer Tournament. The boys had four round robin games. In the first game they played against a strong academy team from Norway and came out a bit nervous and lost 5-1. Norway went on to win the round-robin portion of our pool.
In the next game, the Pinnacles played Clint Marcello FC from Trinidad-Tobago and won 4-0. They played a strong game and the nerves were gone. The team then tied Hem Heath FC from England 2-2. It was a spirited affair with strong physical play coming from both sides. The next game was against The Barton Rovers, another English team that had not lost a game. They played very physical aggressive soccer. The boys met the challenge and defeated them 1-0. Due to this victory the team finished third in our pool and now had earned the right to compete in the Plate Finals (B Division Final.)
The semi final game was against the Soccer Association of Columbia, a USA team from Maryland. The game started with the Pinnacles being down 1-0 and it was still 1-0 at the half. After a spirited speech from head coach Paulo Araujo the boys came out flying and scored quickly in the second half to tie the game. The battle continued until the Maryland team scored with about eight minutes left in regulation time to go ahead 2-1. The boys continued to fight hard and scored to tie the game with one minute left in regulation time. The outcome of the game was to be determined by penalty kicks. The boys won the penalty kicks 4-3 and won the game 3-2 to head into the championship game.
In the Championship game, the Pinnacles played the Stockport Vikings from England. The team was up 2-0 at the half. The English team fought hard and scored in the second half. With the score 2-1 the Pinnacles stopped the Vikings from tying the game and emerged as the Champs.
It was quite a feat as not many Canadian teams accomplish getting out of the early rounds let alone winning a Cup.
The team brought the cup back to display in the Adidas Complex.