Langley FC Barcelona cashed in at Las Vegas recently.
The soccer team consisting of nine-year-old boys won its division at the Mayor's Cup Tournament, which ran Oct. 2628 in Sin City.
In FC Barcelona's first game the morning of Oct. 27, the local boys romped to 12-0 victory. over the host team of the tournament, the Downtown Las Vegas Soccer Club Rapids.
Langley FC's goal scorers were Tommy Millar and Nolan Premack with four each, and Sevak Lehal, Keishean Francois, Ryan Edwards, and Ishaan Sidhu with singles.
Nolan Premack and Karmveer Rai shared the shutout.
In FC Barcelona's second game later that evening, Langley went up against a very tough Las Vegas Heat club.
The local boys jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first 15 minutes on goals by Francois and Mandev Sarai.
Langley FC had a couple of chances to put the game away but was unable to find the back of the net.
Late in the second half, the Heat got one back on a penalty shot.
The game ended with a 2-1 win for Langley FC.
The morning of Oct. 28, in the semifinal, Barcelona was matched up against a very difficult side from Central California Alliance.
"The boys had to battle for everything in this match," Barcelona head coach Steve Millar said.
The game proved to be an exciting end to end battle, that looked destined to be settled by penalty kicks, thanks to what Millar described as "incredible goalkeeping by Nolan Premack and the California 'keeper," and some tenacious defending by both teams.
However, with fewer than six minutes left, Langley FC was able to put the game away, when Edwards was able to knock a ball into the box and find Tommy Millar alone about 10 yards out from goal.
From there, Millar calmly one-timed a shot into the corner past the diving 'keeper to lift Langley to a 1-0 win.
In the final, played in the middle of the afternoon in the Las Vegas heat, Barcelona was matched up against Real Colorado Olympico, a team described by Millar as "very skill-ful and physical."
Langley jumped out to an early lead in the first three minutes off a Millar free kick from 25 yards out, that sailed into the corner past a diving 'keeper.
From there Langley pressed and put a lot of pressure on Colorado for the rest of the half.
It remained 1-0 until halftime.
Then, with about 15 minutes left in the game, Langley FC went up 2-0, when Millar scored on a penalty kick.
The score remained that way until the last minute, thanks to the tenacious defence of Langley FC's back three, Lehal, Cadell Rees, and Rai.
In the final minute, Colorado scored on a penalty shot past an otherwise unbeatable Premack to finish off the day's scoring.
"The boys battled extremely hard all weekend long against bigger and older boys, and it was amazing to watch these nine-year -lds conduct themselves, both on and off the field, with such class and sportsmanship," Millar said. "A truly great experience that these nine-year-olds and all of the parents and coaches will not soon forget."
The team roster for this trip included, in coach Millar's words:
. Nolan Premack, who was regarded by many observers at the tournament as the top goalkeeper of the U10 age bracket;
. The defensive three that made Langley so difficult to beat: Lehal, Rai, and Rees.
. Edwards, who dominated the central midfield with his tireless work ethic and great skill.
. Striker Millar, who led the way with seven goals in four games, including three game-winning strikes during the tournament.
. The three other key members who worked tirelessly and displayed a lot of skill, taking on defenders and scoring timely goals. They are wingers Sidhu, Francois, and Sarai.
Barcelona FC is coached by Millar and managed by Moe Sidhu.