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MFC Bayern Munich wins state cup on PKs
Back row from left to right: Cesar Reyes (Trainer) Everardo Velasquez, Athen Gonsalves, Roman Villapudua, Carlos Mendez, Joel Lemus, Cristian Zepeda, Eriq Kurys, Juan Raya, Steven Dominguez (Trainer) and Ronnie Green (Coach). Bottom row from left to right: Ashur Kanja, Brandon Zarete, Josh Kong, Hector Ramirez, David Gonzalez, Enrique Garcia, Arturo Galvan, Luis Cortes, Zach Hernandez, Jonah Renteria, Cesar Torres, and Jose Zepeda. - photo by Photo Contributed

Five months ago, Ronnie Green cobbled together a soccer team consisting of Manteca Unified rivals with a few more from Stockton.

The Manteca FC Bayern Munich under-16 squad has come a long way since. On Sunday, they completed their run to the NorCal Premier State Cup championship in the Bronze Division with a dramatic victory over Marin FC 99 Red at Cosumnes River College. After battling to a 1-1 draw in the final, Manteca FC prevailed in a penalty kick shootout, 4-3.

“We’re progressing quickly,” coach Ronnie Green said. “In our first month together we lost to a state-qualifying team (Tracy Stealth) 7-1 but we turned around and beat them in the MFC tournament, 1-0. It’s been a dramatic improvement. Every team we’re beating right now is ranked higher than us.”

Their ranking will change soon enough. Bayern Munich started out 155th overall in the Northern California rankings but has soared to No. 85 prior to Sunday’s state cup finale.

Carlos Mendez scored Manteca FC’s lone goal in regulation on an assist from Eriq Kurys. Marin FC tied it in the second half on what Green called “a wind-aided corner kick.”

Both teams made three of their first five attempts of the PK shootout, with Bayern Munich goalie Enrique Garcia coming through with two big saves. Zach Hernandez buried the eventual deciding shot in the seventh round, and Marin FC missed wide on its final try.

“After missing PKs it can get very emotional,” Green said. “You feel like you let the team down, but you have to have faith in your teammates and the keeper. The guys never quit.”

The regular season is still ongoing for the Manteca FC team, which is 11-1-1 with a six-game winning streak in its last 13 outings. It is currently in first place with a 6-2 record in the under-16 silver division. The NorCal Premier season comes to a close at the end of the month.