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AC Arlington a Soccer Melting Pot

Under-11 team wins state's top tournament, remains unbeaten in two years.

While soccer fans across the United States have been glued to their televisions the past month watching World Cup soccer matches from South America, Arlington has had its on International squad playing right on in their front yard.

The Andrew Cup champion Arlington AC Premier Soccer squad is one team that wouldn't even feel out of place at a meeting of the United Nations as the squad has nearly as many countries represented on its roster.

While all the players on the team were born in the United States most of their parents were not. Arlington residents Shaya Hedayatian father, coach Quimers Hedayatian hails from Iran, while Arlington's Arian Pilja is the product of Coresian-Bosnian parents.

"These kids come from all over, that's what makes the team real interesting," said coach Hedayatian. "All the kids were born in US but their parents are from different countries. It's quite a thing to see."

South America is heavily represented with Alex Sena-Leo, whose parents are from Venezuela, Brandon Ramos (El Salvador), Felipe Cypriano (Brazil) and Sebastian Cuervo (Columbia) but is far from the only continent the team has a child from.

Daniel Munch parents came from South Africa, Matteo Brianchini's from Italy, and Cameron Kelly's from England and the U.S. Issac Mukala's parents hail from the Republic of Congo while Kunga Tenzen's parents immigrated from Tibet. Nicholas Melhorn is the only second-generation American on the squad, giving the team a World Cup flavor in matching uniforms.

Winning the Andrew Cup, the number one U11 tournament in the state, last month in Lancaster solidified the team's claim as the state's top squad.

"I think we are the best team in New England right now," said coach Quimers Hedayatian. "We play four or five times a week and the kids make a huge commitment to the team."

The team's resume includes two years of undefeated Maple League competition. This year alone the team claimed championships in the Needham, Oakwood, Farmington, and Wheaton College tournaments prior to its Andrew Cup win.

The team also won the Mansfield Indoor Futsal Championship 2010 as well as the Northeast Regional Futsal Championship in Brookline, in the Super F League.

The team is also the reigning Park School Indoor League Champion.

Despite being eligible to compete as an under-11 team, they have already won an Under-12 championship, winning the Newton Indoor Champion Division 1 U12 League to go with their Bandit Cup Championship ACA U-11 title.

Last year, the team even celebrated a championship on the grounds of Gillette Stadium, winning the John Smith Tournament Champiopnship at Gillette Stadium in July, 2009.

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