3/10/12 - Vitesse Dallas arrived a day early and had plenty of rest before the start of the Premier National Tournament was to commence at the Del Mar Arena in San Diego. After a 10-5 Semifinal loss in the US Open last month against the Cincinnati Kings, Vitesse Dallas was focused on their next goal which was to win the PASL-Premier National title.
That goal was obtained after a total of five games played to win the National Title. Group played started Friday against Louisville Rayo. With the first match of the day and the excitement still sinking in, Vitesse came away with a 5-4 win. “It wasn’t our best game but we came away with a win in group play”
The second game on Friday Vitesse was match against CF Revolucion from Tijuana. The guys came out to play and put this game away. It was a dominating performance with an 8-2 win over Tijuana. Group play continued on Saturday with the last group game against Deft Touch from Anaheim on Saturday morning. Dallas came out focused and came away with another dominating performance with a score of 8-2. Dallas was seeded number one coming out of group play.
“After the way we touched the ball and maintained possession as we had planned today, both the players and coach felt like the trophy was coming back to Dallas with us," said Vitesse Head Coach Roy Ramos. "Assistant Coach Lupe Rodriguez just stressed to the team that if we play our style of soccer with possession there is no team here that can beat us."
Moving on to Semifinal play Dallas was matched against WSA Rapids, who came out of the Northwest Division after defeating highly ranked Kitsap Pumas. Once again WSA came out playing fast paced soccer using speed and a physical style of soccer and struck first to take a 1-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
A quick tactical timeout and meeting by the coach and players, play was altered and possession style soccer was the key. WSA never saw the goal again and Dallas found the net four times to end the game with a 4-1 win and a trip to the finals.
Vitesse Dallas was matched against the Las Vegas Knights who narrowly advanced by winning in a shoot-out. “The good thing about having all the games at one location is that you can stay and evaluate your competition," said Ramos. "We knew Vegas had more crowd and momentum behind them as they won two games within the last two minutes and just had a lot of high energy coming into the finals.
“I just told the team to go out and play soccer as you know how, we’re here because we deserve to be here.” Vegas came out and struck first in the first five minutes which got the crowd roaring. Vitesse tied it 1-1 in the second quarter with two minutes left , but Vegas found the net again and made it 2-1 with 1:35 left in the half. Coach Ramos immediately called for timeout.
“I told the guys listen Vegas has been winning on pure energy and momentum in this tournament, we can’t let that goal be the turning point for them.”
The second half started and within two minutes a superb strike from Albert Rodriguez from about 25 yards out that found the upper corner which seemed to change the game completely. The score remained tied 2-2 going into the fourth quarter with both teams creating many opportunities.
Between Dominic Schell, Mario Torres, Albert Rodriguez, and Adan Ramires, the Knights were facing shot after shot hitting the crossbar and glass as Dallas stepped up the offense and eventually found the go ahead goal. With four minutes remaining the score was 4-2 Dallas and the Vegas Knights pushed their keeper up as the sixth attacker and started to take more shots. After a shot rang wide and bounced off of two players the ball found the net for the Knights. The score sat at 4-3 with a minute and a half remaining. Still pushing the keeper up as the sixth attacker Vegas was caught by Dallas defenders Lupe Rodriguez and Ricky Callado which eventually cleared the ball to a full paced Albert Rodriguez who made his way around the Knights goal keeper at half field and took the ball and found an empty net that made the score 5-3. With no time remaining the Knights couldn’t bounce back and all that was left to do was celebrate a National Title for Vitesse Dallas.
This is Vitesse Dallas second national title in the PASL Premier Division with the first coming in 2008/2009.
“I want to thank all the players that couldn’t travel with us on the trip that made this possible for our organization to be here. A big thanks to all the players for their hard work and dedication to the season.
"I couldn’t be more proud of the players for this achievement, as a coach it feels great to hold this National title again."
Vitesse Dallas is looking to build on their momentum and move up to the PASL and is currently putting together proposals for investors who are interested in helping them reach the professional level.