For the first time in 56 years, a New York team claimed the James P. McGuire Cup, as Massapequa Arsenal defeated St. Louis Scott Gallagher (MO), 3-1, in the Under-19 Boys final. Arsenal put the pressure on from the opening whistle and secured a lead just three minutes into the game. The SLSG keeper got his hands on a low drive through traffic, but Arsenal’s Michael Farese was in the right spot and hit home the rebound to put his side in front. Massapequa threatened with a couple of dangerous free kicks shortly after, but SLSG fended them off and play evened out. Shortly after halftime, Scott Gallagher netted an emphatic equalizer when Steven May hit a volley from well outside the box that flew inside the left post. Arsenal earned a chance to regain the lead in the 67th minute when it drew a penalty, and Nicholas Cestaro converted his kick from the spot to put the Eastern New York side back on top. Brendan Gallivan extended the lead to 3-1 with another penalty kick, and Arsenal held off a late push by SLSG to take the 3-1 victory and claim the McGuire Cup. The championship caps off a long run for Massapequa Arsenal, as many of the players have been playing together since they were 8 years old.
CLICK HERE to watch the full game and celebration after.
The road to the US Youth Soccer National Championship started after winning the New York Eastern State Championship in early June. They then traveled down to West Virginia for the Region I Championship. At the Regionals, they won all five games scoring 18 goals with no goals against.
The Championships began in the oppressive heat of Tulsa, where Arsenal played the Region II champion St. Louis Scott Gallagher (MO). After over 600 minutes without a goal scored against, St. Louis scored in extra time and gave the Arsenal their first loss in 2015.
The Arsenal rebounded with a 2-1 win against the Region IV champion Scottsdale 96 Blackhawks Burke (AZ). Nicholas Cestaro scored in the first half and Cory Santangelo scored in the second half.
The third game in the group was against the Regional III champion GSA 96 Premier (GA). In over 100 degree temperature, the Arsenal won the game 2-0 with goals scored by Michael Farese and Cory Santangelo.
We are very proud of Arsenal's amazing achievement of winning the US Youth Soccer National Championship/James P. McGuire Cup!