National Cup Finals Recap
Find out who are the National Champions
September 5, 2008
Play in the 2008 National Cup Finals came to a close on Sunday, August 10 as teams in the Men’s and Women’s Open, Amateur, Over 30 and U23 divisions competed for the national title at the Starfire Sports Complex in Seattle, Washington. Thirty-two teams opened up play in Friday’s semifinals (August 8) where only half advanced to the final round. Click here to see the National Cup Finals in Pictures!
On August 9, the Pancyprian Freedoms of Eastern New York were crowned Men’s Open Cup Champions after defeating the Arizona Sahuaros of the NPSL 2-1 in overtime on a damp Saturday night.
A goal from Uglijesa Vrbica lifted the Sahuaros over the Freedoms on a kick from 20 yards out in the 17th minute.
Both teams missed scoring opportunities in the second half until Julio Cesar Dosantos tied the match with a blast from outside the box in the 87th minute.
Pancyprian took a 2-1 lead in the 118th minute on a curling kick by Tasos Polydefkis in overtime.
“It was a great game; we are fortunate to become champions tonight” said Phillip Christopher, President of the Pancyprian Freedoms.
The team is a four-time champion as they won the Open Cup in 1980, 1982, 1983 and 2008.
“This has been a long road for us, we deserve it.”
In the semifinals, Pancyprian Freedoms beat RWB Adria of Illinois 5-3 and Sahuaros defeated the Florida Kickers 2-1, both games held on Friday.
In the Women’s Open Cup final Indiana’s FC Indiana and Ajax of the WPSL once again found themselves in the final. FC Indiana took the national title home after cruising to a 1-0 victory over
Ajax in overtime.
The game lived up to all expectations and was played at a very high-level having two of USASA’s top amateur teams going head to head. FC Indiana and
Ajax battled for 90 minutes, hitting the cross bar and having several close scoring chances.
With a scoreless match, teams went into overtime where FC Indiana put the pressure on
Ajax having just missed several scoring opportunities. FC Indiana finally put the game away on a goal by Midfielder and Captain Fatima Leyva who scored on a 20-yard shot assisted by Laura Del Rio in the 118th minute of the match.
“It was a hard game. We could have scored earlier though; we gave the ball away and luckily it stayed out” said FC Indiana Coach Shek Borkowski.
“Ajax is a very good team, they are well coached, and they are a pretty classy club. We know that every time we play them, it’s going to be tough.”
Ajax and FC Indiana are no strangers. They played at the 2007 USASA National Cup Finals for the Women’s Open title.
Ajax earned the cup with 2-1 win over FC Indiana.
With a thrilling 8-0 semifinal victory, FC Indiana advanced over the United German Hungarians of Eastern Pennsylvania, while Ajax crushed Dallas Sting 4-0 to earn a spot in the final.
The Florida Kickers defeated the Baltimore Colts of Maryland 3-1 in the Men’s Amateur Cup Final held Sunday afternoon. The triumph gained the Kickers their fourth title in the history of the USASA National Cups.
A busy first half was topped off with a goal by Chris Hastings in the 30th minute giving the Kickers a 1-0 lead over the Colts. The
Florida squad continued their success as Ryan Stewart opened up the second half with a 56th minute goal to double-up the Kickers tally mark.
Guiherme Costa opened up the second half with a spectacular goal for the Colts in the 70th minute to bring the Colts within one goal of the Kickers.
The Colts comeback attempt fell short as Kristopter Raad sealed the victory for the Kickers after a remarkable goal in the 82nd minute of the amateur cup final. Kickers out-scored the Colts 3-1 to win the 2008 USASA Amateur Cup.
“It was a hard season for us. They are a very good team, and apparently we got lucky!” said Kickers Head Coach Steve Gogas cheering about his win.
“I thank all the players; they gave their best to this game.”
In the semifinals, the Baltimore Colts played the Croatian Eagles of Wisconsin and won 2-1 to advance to the finals and the Kickers beat Lazio of Utah 4-3.
The Turbo D’Feeters of
North Texas and the Eclipse Select of Illinois faced off to battle for the Women’s Amateur Cup. The Turbo D’Feeters blanked Eclipse 1-0 to win the 2008 Women’s Amateur title.
The first half was evenly matched when just before halftime,
North Texas ’ Jamie Jorgensen changed the direction of the game with a shoot from just outside the box. That gave the Turbo D’Feeters a 1-0 lead going in to halftime which proved to be the game winner.
The second half was filled with plenty of scoring attempts from both teams but neither could find the back of the net.
“The game was definitely a battle, the other team was young, fast and on our heels in most of the game” said Turbo D’Feeters Head Coach Tina Flanders.
“It was a pretty even game although pretty tough. We are happy to finish and win.”
North Texas team advanced Friday with a 3-0 semifinal win over the Colorado Sporting Fire.
Eclipse won their semifinal posting 2 goals in an overtime match against the NY Athletic Club to earn a berth in the finals. NY Athletic Club was the 2007 USASA Women’s National Amateur Cup Champion.
Scott Gallagher of
Missouri was crowned champions of the Men’s Over 30 division for the second year in a row. The team played the Arizona Big Ballers and came away with a 1-0 win.
A first half-time goal by Kevin Kalish favored the
Missouri team as it was the only score of the ninety-minute match.
Arizona attempted to tie the game and had several close scoring opportunites only to come up short.
“As every year in the USASA National Cup Finals, every team is good, there is not a whole lot of difference between first and second place” said Scott Ross, Head Coach of Scott Gallagher.
“Every team in this championship deserves to be here, every game is competitive, and I’m happy we won.”
A quarter of the Scott Gallagher players have been together since they were 17 years-old. They won one national title when they were 19, twice at 23, and this is the second year of Over 30’s.
“These guys don’t like to lose.”
Arizona Big Ballers swept the Florida Kickers 4-0 in semifinals. Scott Gallagher won 2-0 against Danbury United of Connecticut in overtime period.
Forza of Washington scored three goals to cap a 3-0 victory over the United German Hungarians of Eastern Pennsylvania, crowning them as the 2008 Women’s Over 30 champions.
Emily Hiatt tallied two of the three goals and had several other chances. Hiatt’s first goal was a shot from 18-yards out that beat the keeper to the right side in the 39th minute.
Just past halftime, Hiatt followed with a second strike that put the match away for the freedom in the 61st minute.
The German Hungarians battled the entire ninety minutes but were unable to keep pace with a strong Forza team.
Janelle Munnis wrapped up the final by scoring a remarkable third goal in the 90th minute.
Pennsylvania team came out and played hard. There were challenges a bit early on and it took us a little while to get into the game, but overall it was an excellent final” said Forza Head Coach Eric Hiatt.
This is their fourth national championship that the team has won.
“We have a great group. Our oldest player is forty-two and we have one that just turned thirty; so a good mix of senior players and some younger ones defines our team.”
Forza swept the Houston Challengers of Texas 7-0 while the German Hungarians beat JB Marine of
Missouri 1-0 in semifinals.
Ela Elite of Illinois took the Men’s U23 Championship title away from the Arizona Sahuaros after a dominant game with a 3-0 outcome.
An early goal by Stephan Jovcic followed by another one from Jordan Gyurciza in the 36th minute, it definetely set the tune for the
Mike Richter opened up the second half with a strike from 20 yards out in the 56th minute to seal the victory for Ela Elite.
“We never expected any of this kind of competition or of high-level soccer atmosphere here” said Ela Elite Head Coach Robert Meschbach who has been with most of the players since they were sixteen years-old who are twenty-three now.
“We went all the way through the regional and won. We played well today, we scored when the opportunities where at the right time and won again. The other team had opportunities too but it just didn’t put them in. It’s a good day.”
This is their first time participating in the USASA National Cup Finals.
Ela Elite defeated Lone Stars of Eastern Pennsylvania 3-0. Arizona Sahuaros won the semifinal by beating Brandon Flames of Florida 1-0.
Real Colorado was crowned USASA Women’s U23 Champion on Sunday after claiming the victory over JB Marine of
Missouri with a 1-0 win.
It was an active but scoreless first half, with plenty of missed scoring opportunities for both teams.
Sidra Bonner of
Colorado scored the only goal of the day in the 76th minute into the game.
“We are happy about the victory. JB Marine was a good opponent” said Real Colorado Head Coach Gerard Louison.
“For a team of girls to come out here and win the national championship, it is pretty special, we are excited about it. The venue was great, we enjoyed it and we are glad we came.”
Colorado advanced to the finals by winning 2-1 against North Texas Select.