Newtown Pride Soccer Team Takes Home Tourney Title And $1 Million
The Newtown Pride FC soccer team assembled a roster that included several Major Arena Soccer League players to create a hybrid team for a big competition called The Soccer Tournament, held in Cary, N.C. The Newtown Pride amateur team came out on top among a field of 32 teams in a World Cup style tournament with a twist. It featured 7 on 7 soccer, a variation from the standard 11 v 11 format, hence the involvement of the small-sided soccer group from the arena league.
With the win, culminating with a 2-0 victory over Canadian team SLC FC in early June, the Pride earned the $1 million tourney prize. A portion of that money will be donated to the Newtown Pride FC Scholarship Fund and other causes, said Matt Svanda, who co-founded the team along with his dad, Mike Svanda.
“We wanted a balanced team — a team that could be aggressive when we did not have the ball and be controlled when we did,” Coach Onua Obasi said.
The Pride, coming off its Connecticut Soccer League season championship is set to compete in the playoffs, along with the Region 1 tourney in Pennsylvania on June 17 and, with a win, advances to the National Final Four. For now, the team is enjoying the most recent tourney win.
“We’re very excited. I’m not even sure we realize the magnitude, how big the win is, yet. It hasn’t settled in,” Matt Svanda said.
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