If the results of the sixth annual Reston International tournament are an indication, the quality of youth soccer in the metropolitan Washington area is at a level many sections of the country must envy.
Fifty-four percent of the clubs in the 165-team, three-day tournament that ended yesterday with championship games at two sites near Reston were from the metro area. The rest of the field came from 11 states as far west as Colorado and from Scotland, Canada and Puerto Rico. But 14 of the 15 championship trophies are going no farther than the Beltway vicinity.
The only team to break the Washington straglehold was the 1968 (13-year-old) girls team from Cincinnati, a 6-1 winner over Ewing, N.J., in a final on the Loudoun County campus of Northern Virginia Community College. That was the only championship game that did not include an area team. Local entries made up 70 percent of the finalists.
Although the Reston tournament avoids giving recognition to outstanding individuals or teams, the accomplishment of the Reston Golden Eagles in the 19-and-under boys division could not be overlooked. Reston swept through its four games outscoring opponents, 17-0. In the final yesterday at the community college field, Reston defeated Wall, N.J., 2-0, both goals the result of good defensive plays.
The Golden Eagles, one of the first teams formed when the soccer boom hit Reston about eight years ago, are a prime example of how far the game has come in that sector. Since then, the Eagles have won four state championships in progressive age levels.
Reston Coach Gordon Perrins said teams in the metro area continue to improve rapidly because of improving coaching.
The Golden Eagles proved opportunistic yesterday. In the opening minute of play, Joe Montagne knocked down a poor goal kick and turned it into the game's first goal. Midway in the second half, fullback Bob Gates initiated a rapid break with a 40-yard floater that Chris Falk headed to his brother Eric, who scored on a 12-yard kick.
In the 1964 (17-year-old) boys final, McLean, a wild-card selection to the semifinals, shocked Forest Park of Cincinnati, 3-1. Grant Smith scored twice for McLean.
"I've been coaching soccer since 1973," said McLean Coach Gil Smith. "Against other teams in the area, well, we're beter than 500. But against teams from out of the area, we are world beaters."