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United crowned champs after Sol waves white flag

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The US Soccer Club Northern California Premier League champion Manteca Futbol Club United poses for a shot Saturday at Woodward Park. BACK ROW: Head coach Luciano Silveira, from left, Manager Gina ...

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED July 26, 2009 2:41 a.m.
The members of the Manteca Futbol Club Under-23 United were gathered in the shade of a tree 30 minutes prior to game time Saturday at Woodward Park.

A showdown with the Sonoma County Sol, a team that had knocked off the US Soccer Club Northern California Premier League’s second and third-place teams earlier this season, had been called off.

Apparently, the Sol couldn’t gather enough players willing to make the trek to the Valley to face the 8-1-2 United on its home turf.

With the forfeit win, Manteca was crowned the Premier League’s champion a few hours early.

“You have to show up to be successful,” Manteca head coach Luciano Silveira said with a smile. “We’re here. They’re not. That’s one of the keys to success, you have to show up.”

Manteca was led in 2009 by Captain Jordan Ferrell, who played his college ball at Hayward State. Ferrell, the team’s stopper, was by a physical and vocal force on the pitch.

At the top of the field, forwards Bronil Koochoie and former Oakdale High star Ernesto Carranza were described as nearly impossible to stop by Silveira after Manteca fought to a 2-2 deadlock with second-place Los Gatos Thursday night.

“It was a great year,” Silveira said. “(How it ended) was a little surprising, (considering it was) the boys from the Valley versus the big cities. I think we snuck up on some teams this year, but they know who Manteca is now.

“I’m proud of the guys. I think we outworked everyone in fitness. We had a big advantage playing here in 100-degree weather. Those guys were used to the 70’s and we would run them around out here. It’s commendable.”
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