WATCH: Tipp freshman wins goal of the year honor from U.S. Youth Soccer

Credit: contributed

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Tippecanoe freshman Landon Haas won national honor from U.S. Youth Soccer for his bicycle-kick goal in club game for Metro FC.

Credit: contributed

Landon Haas’ bicycle-kick goal for Metro FC takes top spot

Landon Haas practiced often for his extraordinary kick. He knew the moment might never come, but he was going to be ready.

That time was April 24 at an early-morning U15 soccer game at Voice of America Park in West Chester. That’s when Haas, playing for Metro FC of Kettering, executed a rare bicycle kick to score a goal. Nine months later, U.S. Youth Soccer announced Haas’ feat as the youth soccer goal of the year at its annual gala in Kansas City, Mo.

At first, the idea of winning the award was just as unbelievable to Haas as the goal itself. He is a freshman at Tippecanoe High School and was at the school watching a basketball game when he got a congratulatory text from someone in the state soccer association

“I didn’t know if someone was playing a prank on me,” Haas said.

He found the news on Instagram but wasn’t convinced. His dad soon picked him up after the game and wasn’t convinced either. Then – about a half hour after the original text – the video announcing it showed up on U.S. Youth Soccer’s YouTube page. They knew it was real.

“I just thought to myself this is a dream come true,” Haas said. “I’ll probably never be able to do one of these again. Some professionals haven’t even done it. Getting the award is just crazy.”

Haas’ goal gave the 100 or so people watching that morning the same unreal feeling. Mason Mata, from Fairmont High School, sent a corner kick over Haas’ head to the far side of the goal that was headed Haas’ way by Alex Free of Troy Christian. An opponent got a foot on the ball but popped it up in front of Haas, whose back was to the goal. Haas flipped his right foot high into the air and kicked the ball into the right corner.

“It was just luck and hope,” Haas said. “I knew that I needed to hit it backwards. So just getting contact I felt pretty happy about. But then looking up and seeing it pass the goalie … I saw it right before it went in in the air.”

Metro coach Steve Qvick’s reaction is one Haas won’t forget.

“My coach bowed down to me right when I looked back at him after I scored and was running back toward our side of the field,” Haas said. “I just screamed, and all of my teammates were jumping on my back saying, ‘You just did that!’ I was in complete shock.”

Qvick has been coaching Haas for the past five seasons in the Metro club. He says Haas is his unofficial captain.

“The whole place just erupted,” Qvick said. “It was just such a spectacular goal. You just don’t see that with kids this age. And he’s a hard worker, and he just is amazing sometimes.”

Haas, who wants to play Division I college soccer, started for the Tippecanoe varsity team this fall as a freshman striker and was the team’s third-leading scorer with seven goals and 16 assists. The Red Devils were 16-3-1 and reached the district finals. He plays midfield for his Metro team, which is the reigning State Cup champion and first state champ in the 18-year history of Metro FC. This year as a U16 team they have already played a winter tournament in North Carolina and are headed to Florida in a week for a national event.

Through all the year-round soccer Haas has played since he was 3, he has had the fortune to live next to a park in Tipp City that borders his backyard and has soccer goals. He has spent countless hours in the park with his three older brothers developing his skills.

Haas’ oldest brother, Austin, who played at Tipp and graduated in 2017, sent crossing passes hundreds of times to his little brother so he could perfect bicycle kicks.

“I practiced this all my life in my backyard,” Haas said. “It was just a natural instinct.”

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