With goals from Erick Calderon, Carlitos Chicas, Erik Ramos, Marioni Vicen, Marioni Vicen, and Truxton Travis bring title to Northwest Arkansas.
By: Carlos Chicas
Photos: Julie Helm
The 2019 Red Earth Invitational was held last weekend in Oklahoma City. At the prestigious tournament came teams of the entire soccer region; Teams from Kansas City, Tulsa, Bentonville, and surrounding areas arrived at the facilities of the Oklahoma Energy FC sports complex. The wind and the cold temperatures were not any factor so that the Bentonville FC Prodigy squad jumped into the field to play their first game.
The first match of the tournament Prodigy FC was against the Midwest City Vision. Prodigy FC had to be battle all the way into the last seconds of the match. But prior to that, Erick Calderón would put the Prodigy FC ahead with a shot from outside box to make it 1-0. The opponent fight back and tie the game. But a few seconds before the central referee gave the final whistle, Truxton Travis would put the 2-1 and Prodigy won the first three points of the tournament.
The second match of the tournament would have a rival known to Prodigy, none other than Energy FC 05 Navy, whom they knew very well because they had met once in the Oklahoma Premier League. Both squads knew that the game was crucial and could give them a half ticket to the second round.
The man of the match was the center referee. In the first seconds of the first half, Bentonville FC Prodigy would be left with 10 men on the pitch, after goalkeeper Omar Peralta was sent off. Energy FC would go up 1-0 via the penalty kick awared by center referee. Prodigy went back to work and thanks Erik Calderón, Prodigy FC would tie the game before the end of the first half.
In the second half, it was even more complicated for the Bentonville FC Prodigy team, as Emerson Flores wa ejected from the match. The team was left with 9 men on the pitch. Assistant Coach Julio Ayala put everything learned in his training as a coach and began to manage the game and avoid a defeat and manage to keep the game tie 1-1.
The last game of the knockout stage arrived and with goals from Erik Ramos and Marioni Vicen Bentonville FC Prodigy defeated Energy FC Green team 2-0 to advance to the finals.
In the match for the title, the first half was very complicated for Bentonville FC Prodigy, even dominating the match the ball did not enter the goal of the opponent, the squad of Club Azzurri of Kansas City was well organize on the pitch. In the second half Cooper Hillman would enter and put into practice everything that was worked on during the week. With a simple and effective way to play soccer, the Most Valuable Player (MVP) created important plays and contributed to Bentonville FC Prodigy finding a way to score. With goals scored by Erik Ramos, Marioni Vicen, and Carlitos Chicas Bentonville FC Prodigy won the the championship 4-0 win. On her Facebook page Truxton’s proud mother Brianne Travis said “What a way to end the weekend. Prodigy 05 are coming home with the championship plaques and big smiles! They all worked very hard and earned this!!! Thank you so much to Coach Carlos and Coach for all you do for our boys!. We are doing it the Chica’s way and its working! (and Julie thank you).”