- Category: News
- Published on Saturday, 01 October 2011 15:12
- Written by NJSA Office
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The 14th annual USASA Veterans Cup was held July 5-10, 2011 at Seminole Soccer Complex and Sylvan Lake Park , Sanford , Florida . 63 teams were registered to compete for titles in 11 Women's and Men's divisions. This year’s participation was slightly down due to the heat concerns many teams had in regards to Florida . However, teams that attended this year’s tournament
experienced sun, rain, lightning, and great soccer. The heat and humidity was nowhere close to what teams had to deal with in MASS the past 2 years.
The National Committee was very nervous and high of anticipation this year for many reasons. A new committee was established this year, that was compromised of old veterans and rookies. Expectations were very high to continue the excellent standards that were set for this tournament and continue the tradition that started 14 years ago. Based on the overwhelmingly positive response and feedback we received both from players and managers we believe we accomplished this. The Sanford venue set a new bar in regards to the excellent combination of facilities, accommodations, entertainment, and organization offered by a local host. We hope that future venues will be close to the high standard set by Florida .
In the Men’s Over-55 division, St. Luis Gallagher of Connecticut won by beating the Freddy Fund.com by a score of 3-2. In the Over 60 division we had a new winner after 6 years of domination by Dallas Legends. The O60 NC United beat Fichte Rams SC 3-2 in a nail bitter. The Men's Over-65 division saw the O65 Georgia/North Carolina United defeat St. Louis Stars 8-0 to earn their 2nd straight title.
In the Over 30's division we saw MPS of Massachusetts in their third straight final hoping to take the title home as they had in the past two years. However, the Islanders of Massachusetts had other ideas and beat them by 2-0 in a high quality match. Something tells me that these teams will be back next year in the finals. In the Over 40's men’s division Billy’s Bud were playing the powerhouse Royal Eagle T B Kicks. This was a a very close game. We had a tie going by a score of 1-1 in the 2nd half when lightning struck and the game had to be abandoned. Both teams were declared co-champs but the word out of the Billy’s Bud camp was “They got lucky the game ended due to weather! We had them were we wanted.” Well there is always next year to settle who the best team is.
For the Over 50's men’s division Connecticut United was aiming for their 3rd straight title against Real Lyold. This game was tied 0-0 and heading to overtime when the weather gods were not cooperating with us. Both teams were declared co-champs but there were several players on both teams that felt they had the trophy in their bag. The only way to find out the answer will be next year at the 15th National Veterans Cup.
In the Women's Over-30 division, Spirit of Massachusetts defeated Houston Challengers of Texas for their 2nd straight title. According to their manager they are already ready for next year championship run. I wonder if the San Francisco powerhouse from past years is ready to come back and lecture these young ladies. For the Women’s Over-40 division, Flippin Sweet knocked off Lady Neptunes by a score of 2-0 for their first title.
In a repeat from the previous two year’s final, two strong cross-country rivals met again but this time Camp Spring Soccer Club of Maryland defeated Leahi of Hawaii. This was a very exciting game with the final score 2-1 to Camp Spring Soccer Club to capture the women's Over-50 championship. The Women's Over-55 title went to Motor City Classics of Michigan which proved to be a very strong team. They defeated Betty Whites of Georgia by a score of 8-0.
The Veterans Cup was founded by the United States Adult Soccer Association in 1998 to provide the highest level of competition for players that are 30 years older and above. Throughout the years the tournament has been held in Bellingham , Washington ; Nashua , New Hampshire ; Beckley , West Virginia ; Honolulu , Hawaii ; and Wilmington , North Carolina . 189 teams participated in the Veterans Cup in 2007-08 in Bellingham , Washington . 209 teams took part in the event in 2009-10 in Lancaster , Massachusetts .
Many thanks to Dave Zsembik and Danny Trosset, from the Central Florida Sports Commission, Arthur Mattson, president of the Florida State Soccer Association, and all of the volunteers from the Florida hosting committee for making the 2011 Veterans Cup such a success. A special thanks to all of the referees who donated their time to officiate matches. And finally, a special thanks for the outstanding efforts of Ron and Susan Dambrosia that spent countless of hours helping out registering players and ensuring the referees were taken care of.
The 2012 Veterans Cup is slated to move out to the West Coast next year. We will be announcing shortly the next venue. Stay Tuned! In closing we will share with you an e-mail that we received from an unnamed player the day after the opening ceremonies.
“At my age I thought I had seen everything at a soccer tournament but I wasn't ready for this. As I pulled into the Seminole Soccer Complex I saw a camel sitting on the field. The eight-year-old dromedary's handler said he drinks 20 gallons of water a day. I think I'll come close to that tomorrow as we have two games.”