It had all the promise of being a long, long season – for all the wrong reasons. Richmond FC’s U13 metro team, Richmond United, kicked off their 2013/14 season on the receiving end of a 4-0 drubbing. They dropped their next game as well.
But in a stunning turnaround, United would win eight of their next ten matches during the run up to Christmas.
As things have turned out, it will indeed be a long soccer season for our boys – since they captured the U13 metro selects league title, and a berth in the BC Provincial “A” Cup championships to be held in Burnaby July 3-6. It’s the first time a Richmond selects team has achieved such success at the U13 level.
The United boys finished the regular season with a record of 11W-6L-2D, and entered the league championship playoffs as second-place qualifiers in the “A” pool, behind Burnaby Selects.
If Richmond’s regular-season success was noteworthy, their playoff run was even more impressive. United emerged the victors of their semi-final against Surrey’s CCB Elite on a snowy afternoon that required two sessions of extra time, and eventually penalty kicks to decide things.
Facing Burnaby Selects in the championship final, the U13s scored three times, but found themselves heading into extra time tied 3-3. Richmond scored late in extra time to earn the title.
United are coached by Greg Dunham and Carlos Carvalheiro-Nunes, under head metro coach Roberto Sciascia. The team’s success this season has special meaning for Dunham who, after more than 20 years with Richmond FC, will be leaving the club this summer to pursue a professional coaching opportunity elsewhere.
“The way that these boys have developed as a team has been amazing. Winning the league is just a direct result of all the hard work they have put in over the course of the season, and they definitely deserve it. But our job isn’t done yet. We’re in the Provincial Championships, so now we’ll focus all our effort on ending this season with a double,” he said.