By Steve Sears
Mt. Olive has been put on the map again, but this time for soccer.
The Arsenal Academy in Flanders, representing Mt. Olive and all of
New Jersey, was the lone garden state participant in the USA Cup of
soccer tournament, which took place from July 13 – 22, in Blaine, Minn.
The team did extremely well despite the fact they trained as a team for three weeks but was unfortunately eliminated on penalties.
The tournament featured 1,150 teams from 20 countries, 20 states, and four Canadian provinces.
Paul Kenworthy, director of coaching for Arsenal Academy, says that
type of elimination “is hard to take in as it can go either way, but as the DOC I couldn’t have asked for a better group to work with and I am very proud of our players” as well as the experience.
“The USA Cup was a very well-run tournament,” he says. “The
experience the players had was fantastic. Playing teams out of state and even out of the country was a great achievement for them. Many teams can apply for this tournament as it is an open registration to attend. We were obviously the only team from New Jersey that applied for the two tournaments over the 10 days that we were away.
“The USA Cup team was a combination of our 2001 and 2002 players
that where already a part of our academy,” he continues. “All players
where offered to go on this great trip and 22 players decided to make
that experience possible. We look for players that are hungry to play to football. At Arsenal Soccer Schools we believe in coaching every player that walks on our field. We give our time and energy to every player to help them become not just better soccer players but better people for their adventure in life.”
Arsenal Academy of Mount Olive follows the intense training and skill
structure as that of the highly acclaimed Arsenal Academy of England.
“The Arsenal Academy in England is unreal,” he says. “The structure
they have for academy is one of the best around and with being able to produce so many players to sign and play in their first team is
Stephen and Catherine Radler, whose son David is a member of the
club, value the benefits of Arsenal Academy.
“Arsenal Academy has brought a high level of technical and
professional training to Mt. Olive as well as to New Jersey,” says
Stephen Radler. “When they first arrived in our area, three years ago,
we were looking for a new club for our youngest son, who is currently
going into 6th grade. Their coaching staff and training techniques
impressed us, so when they decided to add a team for 2002 players,
Daniel was interested in the academy.
“The team had its inaugural season this spring,” Radler adds. “They
went undefeated and are now ranked seventh in the State of N.J. This is a testament of what they bring to the area. Plus, the academy is not only a soccer club, but all the players feel like they belong to a community, a family. This is important for growth in all aspects of their well-being. Needless to say, our family is proud to be part of the Arsenal Academy.”