By Joe Madero
Today, May 24, the US Youth Soccer ODP adidas Boys 89 All Stars (All Stars) played the first match of their European Tour. Lined up opposite Bayer Leverkusen, a team composed of boys born in 1987 and 1988, the boys from the states settled in for a tough match.
Ten minutes into play the All Stars found themselves down 2:0. After this initial jolt the boys settled down and forced a turnover and the ball found its way to Brett King, a US National Residency player from Wilmington, NC, who beat the Bayer keeper with a powerful shot into the lower left corner. The goal brought some needed life to the All Stars as the remaining minutes proved to be a high-energy affair with both teams testing the other’s keepers with several chances to score. The half ended 2:1 for Bayer.
The second half saw many substitutions as both coaches tried to steady their attack and counter the opposition’s moves. Although the complexion of the game altered slightly it was the All Stars who made quick work of the new entries attacking the Bayer goalie in numbers, but their keeper was up to the task and made several fine saves to keep the All Star attack at bay and the score at 2:1.
Midway through the second half the All Star’s were caught on a counter attack that stranded keeper Matthew Walker, a US Residency player from Grand Blanc, MI, who was helpless to prevent Bayer’s third goal. The All Star squad continued to fight, but were overmatched by a talented Bayer team, who scored their fourth and final goal three minutes before time expired.
The All Stars finished the scoring 30 seconds before time expired with a beautiful combination play between Perica Marosevic (Rockford, IL) and Giuseppe Carotenuto (Scottsdale, AZ) who beat the Beyer keeper to finish the match 4:2 in favor of Bayer.
Tomorrow the US Youth Soccer ODP adidas All Stars travel to Borussia Dortmund for their second game of their European tour.