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Provence plays in Disney Cup

Daniel Provence, son of Dan and Bonnie Provence of Bainbridge, and his South Georgia United team played in the 2009 Disney Cup International under-13 youth soccer tournament at Disney Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla.

South Georgia United was the only team to defeat the best team from Brazil in their bracket.

They beat Brazil 2-1, and Provence played center right back and had to defend against their top striker. He consistently held his own against him and shut down Brazil’s attacking midfielders when they would try to penetrate the defense.

On the final play of the game, Provence preserved the victory by leaping up and heading away a Brazilian corner kick attempt.

Provence’s father said he had one surprise from what the Brazilian athletes attempted.

“Daniel and his teammates were amazed at how the players from Brazil would fall down when hit, looking for the referee to call a foul so they could get a free kick” he said. “It did not work. Even at the end of a game when a referee could add time for an injury taken, there was only about 10 seconds added. That of course drew complaints from the Brazil team’s captain.”

The Brazilian players did have exceptional ball control and skills, but in the end they were beaten by pure hustle and determination by the South Georgia United boys, Provence said.

South Georgia United lost three close games to Florida teams. The scores were 4-0, 3-0 and 2-1.

His effort in Orlando marked the second performance for Provence this summer.

In June, he was a major contributor to the Valdosta-Lowndes County Soccer Club’s run to the semifinal round of the National President’s Cup soccer tournament in Greeneville, S.C. The Greeneville tournament featured teams from 12 states. A very versatile performer, he played left wing, right wing, left defensive cornerback and striker.

Provence will be an eighth-grader at Bainbridge Middle School this school year.