BARBOURSVILLE — The 2019 U.S. Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships have been something of a revelation for West Virginia's FC Alliance.
The club soccer team formed from the merger of Morgantown's West Virginia Fury and Charleston Football Club a year ago is competing in its first Eastern Regional since the former clubs came together.
On Saturday, the club's two directors, Adam Arthur and Kernell Borneo, were understandably happy that five of their teams had hopes of advancing to the semifinals that begin Tuesday at the Shawnee Sports Complex in Dunbar.
The 15-under boys team picked up a 1-0 win over New Jersey's PSA National 04 team, an upset, according to Borneo, who runs FC Alliance northern territory centered in Morgantown.
Meanwhile, the club's 14u boys team was pulling off an upset win of its own under the direction of Jay Williams and Arthur, the director of the southern territory centered around Charleston. That team defeated Beadling 2005 South Red 3-2 in a game FC Alliance never trailed.
It was a big win for a club that shares territory with Beadling. The two clubs often see players switch from one club to another and whose players see one another with other local teams.
"Beadling is in our backyard," said Borneo, a native of Trinidad who played collegiately for Missouri Baptist before transferring to West Virginia University to finish his college career.
For Borneo, developing the players is more important that who develops them, he said. At the same time, getting the win over Beadling is a measuring stick for FC Alliance.
Borneo said Beadling had beaten one of the top teams in the region a year ago. "Now here we are beating Beadling," he said.
"It's been a good day for us," Arthur said, unable to hide his smile.
FC Alliance jumped on Beadling with a penalty kick from Wes Goodwin at the 30 minute mark of the first half. Before halftime FC Alliance stretched its lead to 2-0 on the first of two goals by Chase Hudson.
Hudson described his first goal as an open look he got and "hammered it" past the Beadling keeper.
Beadling made adjustments at halftime and scored a quick goal to begin the second half to get on the scoreboard. Nine minutes later, at the 45 minute mark, Beadling tied the game on a free kick past a seemingly sleeping FC Alliance defense.
The game remained tied until Hudson scored his second goal in the 51st minute that set the score and Williams got his defense back in the game to seal the victory.
Hudson, a Kanawha City native, followed Arthur from CFC and the coach greeted him warmly after the game.
"I just kind of chipped it in over the keeper," said Hudson whose three goals tied him with three others to lead the 14u boys in scoring.
After a tie Friday, Saturday's win helped FC Alliance (1-0-1) keep pace with defending USYS Regional Champion Ukrainian Nationals 2005 Black which leads Group A with a 2-0 record and six points to FCA's four in the Group A standings.
The two will meet Sunday at 10 a.m. on Cabell Midland's grass soccer field to conclude group play.
FC Alliance and other West Virginia soccer teams also had a good showing in group play Saturday:
n FC Alliance 12U boys team drew to a 2-2 tie with NY Stars Premier Gravity at the Shawnee Sports Complex. The teams, with four points each, are tied at the top of Group A standings heading into the final day of group play Sunday. FC Alliance will take on Alexandria Red of Virginia at 9:30 a.m. Sunday on Field B at the Shawnee Sports Complex. The winners of Groups A through C along with one wild card will be in the semifinals Tuesday.
n Huntington St. Joe star Abi Hugh's hat trick gave West Virginia Futbol Club's 17u girls a 6-0 win over Penn FC Youth 02 United Saturday at Shawnee Sports Complex. Cabell Midland's Olivia Charles, Woodrow Wilson's Logan Ragland and Winfield's Ava Hall also had goals in the WVFC win. The team is tied for first place in the 17u Group B standings with New Jersey Rush 02 Grey and the teams will meet tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Shawnee Field 4 for the pool's spot in the semifinals.
n FC Alliance Athletica 18u girls have yet to allow a goal in the two Group B games its played. The team from Morgantown wraps up group play and can clinch a spot in the semifinals with a win Sunday at 8 a.m. vs Black Watch 2001 team from New York.