Frigid cold temperatures weren’t able to stop the United Soccer Alliance’s 2003 boys when they traveled to Alexandria, Virginia for the Premier Cup to begin competing in the Eastern Regional League.
The team held their ground and owned a 2-1 record for the weekend and ended up losing to Baltimore Celtic Premier in their final game after they were able to get off to a fast, 2-0 start.
Before and even throughout the 3-1 loss to Baltimore Celtic, the Predators found a way to successfully incorporate Francesco Pagano and Antonino Pagano into their gameplan. The Pagano brothers recently joined the team and continuously made their presence known throughout the three games.
They teamed up and scored three goals off of one another’s passing, all of which came in the 4-1 victory over Penn Fusion SA Elite 2003 of Pennsylvania East. Antonino Pagano scored two goals, both of which were assisted by Francesco Pagano, who also scored off of a pass from Antonino Pagano in the game.
Francesco Pagano also had goals against Hotspurs Football Hotspurs 2003 of Pennsylvania West and Baltimore Celtic.
That victory over the Hotspurs was a huge sigh of relief for the Predators, not because they won, but, because of the contributions from every position on the field.
The other set of brothers on USA, Caden Stafford and Cason Stafford, accounted for four of the six goals that the team into scored. Caden Stafford had a hat trick and then Cason Stafford buried one in the back of the net.
One of Caden Stafford’s goals was a penalty kick that came off of the foul that Tyler Colton drew in the box.
Opponents also had trouble with USA’s counter attack. Scott Schuyler wasn’t intimidated at all by the size difference and constantly ran as hard as he could, which led to the success that he had.
Center midfielder Cameron Stuart also scored a pair of goals in Virginia. He finished the pass that he received from Francesco Pagano against the Hotspurs and then the two of them hit replay of that moment against Penn Fusion.
Defenders Ethan Caruana, Casey Philips, and Carter Jackson held down the fort in the back. They competed hard and didn’t think about giving up when they faced the little bit of adversity, taking some pressure off of goalkeeper Matthew Gera.
From the goalie and the defenders to the forwards, it was a complete team effort. Head coach Shannon Colton, assistant Cole Stafford, and the USA Predators opened the ERL with the burst that allowed them to capture victories in two out of three games, and a second place start.