Championship Sunday at the 2012 Vulcan Cup featured a lot of red, black and gold. East Tennessee’s premier soccer club, FC Alliance, made a huge statement by sending teams to the finals of U11, U12, U13 and U14 divisions. Three teams emerged as champions, while two others earned finalist honors. Both finalists were actually playing up into older age groups. Coach Paulo Neto coached two teams to championships: the 99 Boys Black and 98 Boys Black. Furthermore, Coach Darrick Lubell had to feel a sense of gratification, as he coached all five teams who placed when they were U9 and U10 squads.
The day began with an all-FC Alliance final, featuring the 01 Boys Black 2, coached by Kelly Webb, and Lubell’s 02 Boys Black. Webb’s squad prevailed, but both teams put on an impressive display of soccer. Both teams went unbeaten in pool play to bull their way into the title game.
From there, Neto’s squads both grabbed their hardware. The 99 Boys Black took home top honors by winning a thrilling championship game shootout. Meanwhile, the 98 Boys Black throttled state rival Brentwood Soccer Club 2-0. The teams have been trading wins for the past two years, making a victory in the championship game of the Vulcan Cup even more glorious.
Lubell’s 02 Boys Black weren’t the only team playing up in the tournament. The 01 Boys Black 1 jumped into a U12 11v11 division and surprised the field by taking second place. They trounced both Mississippi Fire-Madison and Tupelo FC by 8-0 scores. In the deciding game, they played Georgia powerhouse Atlanta Fire United Elite U12. On paper, it looked as if the U11 FC Alliance team had little chance. Instead, they battled to the end, falling 2-0 in a game that went back and forth until the final goal was scored in the waning moments.