ARLINGTON SOCCER AND PIPELINE SC RIVALRY RENEWED IN FIRST ECNL BOYS CONTINENTAL TIRE DERBY DAY OF 2023
Derby Info: Pipeline SC vs Arlington Soccer
Date: Saturday, March 4, 2023
Location: Cedar Lane Turf | Bel Air, Maryland
Age Groups: U13-U18/19
The first ECNL Boys Continental Tire Derby Day of 2023 kicks off on Saturday, March 4, when Pipeline SC and Arlington Soccer meet for a showdown of one of the Mid-Atlantic Conference’s fiercest rivalries.
Club: Pipeline SC
Year Founded: 2011
Club Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Things You Should Know: 05 – 2022 ECNL National Champions, 07 – 2022 ECNL National Finalists, 06 and 09 – 2022 ECNL National Quarterfinalists
Quotables: “Arlington is one of the best clubs in the country in any league or any division,” said Pipeline SC Boys Director Brandon Quaranta. “We have a lot of respect for them. They have not only talented teams who are organized and well coached, but play the game really hard. In a lot of ways we feel like we’re looking in the mirror when we play them.”
Pipeline SC comes into the Derby sitting at the top of the Mid-Atlantic Conference in three different age groups, the 04/05s, 06s and 09s. Coming off the success they had last season which saw them win the National Championship at the U17 level and finish as National Finalists at the U15 level, Pipeline knew teams would be licking their chops to play them this season.
“Coming off last year, putting four teams in the nationals and winning a National Championship,” Quaranta said, “we knew we would have a little bit of a target on our back and clubs would get up for the fixtures against us.”
“The teams have performed well. We’re towards the top of each age group, and we’re off to a great start, but we’re getting into a really difficult period here with some really tough fixtures against some of the top clubs in the country, so the challenge is just going to get more extensive.”
While the results will be important for both clubs in the long run as they push towards postseason qualification and potential Mid-Atlantic Conference titles, Quaranta acknowledged that the players will have extra motivation for the weekend Derby.
“They run in certain circles,” Quaranta said. “We’re not too far from each other, so there’s some personal relationships there, certainly respect both ways. So, there’s probably a little added incentive to perform against guys they know, who they see in other high school programs in the area, and who they run into in the community.”
“We’re up for every weekend and we know the challenge each club presents in the Mid-Atlantic, but certainly the fixture with Arlington brings an added dynamic,” Quaranta said.
Club: Arlington Soccer
Year Founded: 1970
Club Location: Arlington, Virginia
Things You Should Know: 06 – 2022 ECNL National Semifinalist
Quotables: On the other side of the Derby, Arlington is in the playoff chase in multiple age groups and sees this weekend as an important opportunity for their 06s and 07s to make a push for the Mid-Atlantic Conference title.
“Pipeline is obviously one of the top clubs in the country,” said Arlington Soccer Boys Director Oscar Feliu. “It’s a highlight game for us and it’s going to be an important game for some of these groups to see if we can qualify for the playoffs. So, we have to try to go in full force.”
“Obviously, it’s a game that everyone is going to be motivated to play,” Feliu said. “One, it is a very important game for some teams to try to make it to the playoffs, and for the 06s and 07s it is important in competing to win the league in those two age groups. Winning or losing this game may mean you can win the league or you can not win it.”
Feliu noted that, for a big Derby like this weekend, it is important to try to not change any of the preparation. He knows his teams will already be motivated coming into the Derby.
“In terms of preparations, we won’t change anything, and sometimes for these games, the important games, you just need to try to keep it as normal as possible because the kids are already motivated,” Feliu said.
With so much on the line this weekend, Arlington is ready for the challenge that the Derby brings and is prepared to square off against one of the top sides in their conference.
“We know it’s going to be difficult because Pipeline is a very competitive club, but we’re going to go there and give everything, try to play good soccer, and try to get the results,” Feliu said.