In a tournament featuring teams such as West Ham United, Borussia Dortmund, and Wrexham, it was Newtown Pride FC that took home the $1million cash prize in the inaugural edition of The Soccer Tournament.
The unknown soccer team from a small town in the southwest corner of Connecticut injected joy – and money- into the state and into their town after beating Canada’s SLC FC 2-0.
Newtown Pride, who play in the village of Sandy Hook, took a 1-0 lead just before the end of the second half and then grabbed a second goal to seal their win.
The first goal was struck from distance via former MLS Next Pro midfielder Gabriel Costa.
Then, with ex-USL player Drew Ruggles on the ball, he flicked a no-look, backheel pass over to Kelvin Nunes – who took it around the keeper and tapped it in to win the grand prize.
Kelvin Nunes (L) scored the tournament winning goal for Newtown Pride over Canada’s SLC FC
Nunes (77) tapped home the game winning goal in The Soccer Tournament’s inaugural event
The Pride are the first ever winners of the 7v7 tournament that included West Ham & Wrexham
Newtown’s road to the final saw them reach the knockouts after beating teams such as Borussia Dortmund in the group stage, then defeating Hapoel Tel Aviv and an MLS legends team known as Sneaky Fox FC.
After the celebrations, Nunes expressed his joy in the victory while also acknowledging the children murdered in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.
‘I’m just very happy and for me it means a lot,’ Nunes said. ‘This team deserves [it] this team have a great history. And we play for [the] kids that died in Newtown.
‘So the history of this team deserve a very good championship like that. And the last goal was amazing. That’s not for just for money. That’s amazing. I’m just very happy.’
Nunes was also named the MVP of the tournament – having scored six goals throughout the competition.
Afterwards, Nunes paid tribute to the 26 people murdered in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting
Newtown won a $1m prize, which they say will be partially donated to a scholarship fund
The club announced prior to the start of the game that a portion of their winnings would go to the Newtown Pride FC Scholarship Fund at the Newtown Community Center.
Newtown Pride has won the Connecticut Soccer League championship nine times in its history and was crowned champions of the National Amateur Cup in 2019.
That win should have given them the chance to qualify for the U.S. Open Cup, however, that tournament was cancelled in both 2020 and 2021 – preventing them from participating.
This 2019 National Amateur Cup victory marked them as the first victors from Connecticut since 1967.