This past Memorial Day weekend, the Holmdel NJX Madrid U-17 team traveled to Potomac, Maryland to play in one of the nation’s toughest and longest-running soccer tournaments.  This qualifier tournament is also a college showcase where the very best players in the nation meet to compete-- and hopefully impress the coaches that line the fields to watch.  

Late Sunday afternoon, the team (coached by Eric Hinds, alongside Assistant Coach Frank Costa and Coach/Trainer Mike Hurley) found themselves playing a top Long Island team that was undefeated at 2-0 in the Tournament.   An incredible game went back and forth, with both teams creating tremendous opportunities to score. 

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Finally, with about 15 minutes left in the game, there was an incredible scramble to score. When it comes to goals, Coach Hinds always talks about set up, “We work so hard to defend and create opportunities from directs and corners, because this is where so much scoring happens. In this game, we were fortunate to get a few opportunities.   First, Jack Russo made a great run to get to the end line but the defender stopped him, ultimately giving us a corner.  Player Eric Hinds is a lefty, so from that side we like to use him to swing the pass. Then, we thought we had the goal off of an excellent Ethan Kilmnick header, but the goalie just got his hands on it.   We had one or two more players hit the ball, and finally Joe Arena was able to slip an excellent goal into net!  The final score: 1-0 Holmdel. This was a game that could have gone either way but we were thrilled to make the ride home winning our final match, with a great win against a great team.” said Hinds.

What I love most about this team is that that even though we compete at the highest regional level, we still are basically a local team.  We have nine kids from Holmdel and three are from Colts Neck.   Eight of those  kids have been with us since they were six years old!