Youth soccer teams from eight states and Canada entered the Bethesda Soccer Club's third Thanksgiving Tournament this weekend, but the local squads dominated the 139-team field. Only the 11-year-old boys from Kirkwood, Del., prevented a Washington-area sweep of the 12 divisions.
The championship game for 14-year-old boys, the most senior of the five age groups, was postponed because of waterlogged fields. Squads from Bethesda and Wheaton will play for the title in two weeks.
"I'm not surprised with the results," said Guy Fraiture, coach of the 10-year-old runner-up Bethesda Sting and the 14-year-old team that awaits its title game. "But it's interesting to get a variety of teams in, just to see how we stand. Even when we go outside (the area) we usually do pretty well."
Ten of the 13 championship games played in Sunday's rain matched two area teams. Five teams from Parkwood, Pa., made the trip, but only the 14-year-old boys made it as far as the semifinals. Teams from Atlanta, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Long Island had equal difficulty against the area teams. Nineteen fields in the Bethesda area were used.
"We really look forward to this tournament," said Christian Eurazuris, coach of the 12-year-old boys team from Cherry Hill, N.J. "They have some talented players in this area, and hopefully our kids will learn by playing against them." Eurazuris's Chargers placed second in their division, losing to the Wheaton Bears, 5-1.
Bethesda teams, including the 14-year-old and 12-year-old girls and the 9-year-old boys, won titles. Wheaton earned two championships in the round-robin format, the 12-year-old boys and 10-year-old boys.
The Silver Spring Royal Rockets won, 1-0, in a shootout over the Rockville Rowdies in the 13-year-old division. North Montgomery won the Plymouth Division for 11-year-olds.
Teams from Sterling, Va., won both divisions of the 11-year-old girls.