More than a dozen current local high school soccer stars once played together and won a Maryland State Cup for FC USA

by Nelson Coffin

After Brennan Eibner pushed a perfect through-ball for senior teammate Zach Eichelberger to finish as 19th-ranked Perry Hall High Scool’s soccer team built a 3-0 lead on the way to a 4-2 victory over previously unbeaten Catonsville High School, earlier this month, Eibner said “It’s almost like we’ve been playing together since we were seven (years old).”

Perry Hall soccer coach Pete Eibner founded the FC USA program and led the club to the Maryland State Cup. Today, multiple members of that team are starring for top high school programs in the Baltimore area.

While the standout senior center back was actually cracking wise, the truth of the matter is that the talented twosome and a host of other outstanding players from top prep teams in the Baltimore Metro Area were part the same 2003 FC USA squad that won a state title in 2018 by beating Baltimore Celtic SC and have been playing together since early in grade school.

“All of these guys came up together and are blossoming,” said Pete Eibner, Perry Hall coach and Brennan’s dad. “I’m just so proud of them.”

The list includes four players from No. 2 Calvert Hall College High School — David Peters, Will Andrus, Riley Organt, Cody Angelini and Damion Krzeminski.

Ricky Schissler and Tre Magnaye from 14th-ranked Archbishop Curley High School, Brendon Mudd from Fallston High School, Evan Gosnell from Eastern Technical High School, Cam Dawson from Patterson Mill High School and Eric Schultz from No. 7 from John Carroll School were also part the squad.

Peter Eibner said that he put the team together “out of whole cloth” because he wanted a team that would “serve our kids well.”

He said that creating a club team “on a shoestring budget” appeals to him.

Talent and tenacity describe a team that Eibner said has won Eastern Development Cup and Dallas Cup titles while also beating the prestigious Houston Dynamos Academy team, 1-0.

Eibner described how the team finally overcame another fierce rival, Fishtown Athletic Club, from Philadelphia.

“We had been dominant in Maryland,” Eibner said. “But we couldn’t beat Fishtown until Mudd scored in OT to knock them off. After that, we never lost to them again.”

Current collegiate players who also played for FC USA include Hayden Lim (UMBC/Calvert Hall), Drew Menges (Fallston/Virginia Military Institute) and Michael Gradus (Syracuse/John Carroll).

“It’s such an honor for me to see how they’re all doing so well,” he said.

Eibner, a certified sports nutritionist, personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach who owns Fast Forward Training Systems, credits his own coaching style from his playing days at UMBC under longtime coach Pete Caringi.

“The way I teach kids to play is the way Pete taught me,” he said.

His Perry Hall squad is currently 9-3 and “starting to play better.” Actually a lot better. The No. 15 Gators have won seven of their last eight games.

Pictured above: The team photo of the 2003 FC USA side, shortly after they won the Maryland State Cup. The team included more than a dozen top players now competing for area high school teams.