Chicago United


Dream comes true for local boys in 3 on 3 national tourney
As a child, you dream and think about it all the time. You say it a thousand times in your head :"We have just won the National Championship."
This was a reality for five local boys. Tyler Berek, Bryan Dahlquist, and Matt Meyer of Schaumburg, Rich Patrica of Wheeling and Nick Sutter of Barrington won the National
3 on 3 Soccer Tournamentfor the U-14 competitive division.
For the past four years, this team has gone to the nationals and come up short. Their past experience and disappointments helped them bring home the championship this year. The more poised and more mature team thrived under pressure to win all seven of thier games.
The stage was set at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex on Jan. 15th and 16th for these young men.
The road to the crown started out a little bumpy on the Saturday when the team fell behind 2-0 in the first game against the Rough Riders of Florida. Suddenly, a wake-up call hit the team and they came back to blow away the other team 11-3.
The next few games were dominated by this Chicago United Team as they flew into the quarter-finals. This was a war of will and determination. It was one goal countered by another against the defending national champion, Chaos of Iowa. Berek's fast footwork throughout the game stunned the other team he tied the game.
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The game was determined by the nerve-wrecking shootout. Meyer was up first and scored, and the Chaos also scored. Berek was next and put the ball in the back of the net, then Chaos missed.
Tensionwas mounting for the last two players of both teams. Dalhquist shot the winning goal. Finally they started the semi-final game; one game away from thier dream.
All five players worked well together. Petrica's constant hustle pulled the game to a final close of 12-3. The team's fate depeeded on this one game against their Wheaton nemesis, the Force. Both teams were at their highest level. Sutter's constant support, both on and off the field bolstered everyone. Chicago United was down by one with a minute and 20 seconds left.
One of the spectators saw Meyer with the ball and said,"I could see the determination in his Matt's eyes and knew the ball was going in." It did. There was less than a minute to go and Dahlquist once again showed his power by scoring the winning goal and final step to the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.