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TST $1 million winner, result and how Wrexham, West Ham and Premier League heroes fared



$1 million winner, result and how Wrexham, West Ham and Premier League heroes fared, result and how Wrexham, West Ham and Premier League heroes fared

The first TST is now over and the only amateur club in the competition went home with the $1 million prize, beating the likes of West Ham and Wrexham to the inaugural crown

Newton Pride FC have won the inaugural The Soccer Tournament and scooped $1 million in prize money after beating SLC FC 2-0 in the final.

The five-day tournament saw 32 teams battle it out for the winner-takes-all prize pool, with finalists playing seven games over the course of the event. The tournament followed the same format as the World Cup with two teams in each of the eight groups progressing to the knockout stages.

But TST operates as a seven-a-side tournament with the matches only 40 minutes in length, meaning the eventual champions earned $1m for just 280 minutes of football. The other 31 teams left empty handed, with some big European teams making the long trip to North Carolina for nothing.

Prize money and structure
TST put together their first event after previously enjoying success with a similar concept. The company have staged events in quick basketball tournaments in the past, but decided to run a football event for the first time.

They welcomed applications from all football teams, enticing them to take part with a $1m prize if they could make it out of the group stages and then win four knockout matches. There were some huge names in North Carolina as Borussia Dortmund, West Ham United and Wrexham fielded teams, mixing with the likes of Hashtag United and DMV Diplomats.

As expected, some of the entrants took the event more seriously than others, with higher profile teams using the opportunity to field legends and content creators linked with the club. Those actively seeking the life changing amount of money went all out, and Newton Pride FC walked away as winners.

How the big names performed
Out of all the big teams that made the trip, only Wrexham made it through the group stages and they did so with a perfect record. The Red Dragons featured names such as Lee Trundle, Mark Howard and George Boyd, and managed to score 23 goals in three group games.

However, they lost 4-3 in the round of 16 to Conrad and Beasley United – a team put together by USMNT legends Jimmy Conrad and Demarcus Beasley. But while Wrexham put on a good show, Dortmund, West Ham and Wolves all failed to make it through the group stages.

Dortmund lost all three games, scoring just three and conceding 20 despite fielding former players Felipe Santana, Dede and Kevin Grosskreutz. Wolves and West Ham both managed one win in the group stages, as they too fielded retired former players.
More on the winners
Newton Pride FC are based in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, and play their football in the local state league. The amateur team have won multiple state and regional competitions, and were even crowned champions of the 2019 U.S. Amateur Soccer Association’s national championship.

They were also the only amateur team in the TST, adding to their fairytale adventure. However, on top of their current players they also brought talent from the U.S. national futsal team and the Major Indoor Soccer League (MASL).

But their success was rather fitting during Pride Month, as they added “Pride” to their name following the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in the club’s hometown, where 26 people died including 20 children.

“After the tragedy we dedicated our play to raising awareness and giving back through the game of soccer,” general manager Matt Svanda said in a video. “Just because soccer is more than a sport, we all know that. It brings people together. Couple that with achieving the level we have from winning, it just feels amazing to bring that to the community.”

Lucas Paqueta – West Ham’s boy from Brazil who was so nearly ‘a lost jewel’
Roshane Thomas
Jun 5, 2023
Ze Ricardo still remembers the day Lucas Paqueta was close to quitting Brazilian side Flamengo.

The youngster was struggling with the physical demands because of his diminutive height, but Ricardo knew the club had a special player on their hands.

“At 15, Lucas Paqueta was short, skinny, with this mop of hair; on one occasion he cried because he couldn’t perform, couldn’t compete,” recalls Ricardo, who coached Paqueta for Flamengo’s under-20s and later their senior side. “He wanted to stop, and his family wanted him to leave the club. We said that he was in the best place; that we really liked Lucas. We had a lot of meetings at the club and Lucas was always one of the big talking points. We always thought he would come good with a bit of patience.

“We just had to make sure that he didn’t grow frustrated. In the end, his transformation was visible to everyone. Paqueta’s rise to the first team gave the whole youth department a feeling of real satisfaction.”

Ricardo and Carlos Noval, then executive director of Flamengo’s academy, were aware of Paqueta’s potential and the duo played

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