AURORA, Colo. | Twenty-two champions were awarded after Tuesday’s title matches of the National Cup XVII Finals, the culminating event of US Club Soccer’s cup-based national competition.
A total of 206 teams from 144 clubs were represented across 35 states, stretching from Hawaii to Maine. They converged at Aurora Sports Park, July 20-24, all vying to ultimately hold the Doug Hamilton Memorial Trophy. This past weekend marked the conclusion of a challenging journey for these participating teams, as all qualified through a National Cup XVII Regional or qualifying state cup competition.
The 17th annual National Cup Finals saw the largest tournament field in the event’s history, featuring group play across 22 divisions with Super Groups (most competitive) and Premier Groups for the 13-U through 18/19-U age groups, before entering the knock-out round.
In a balanced result that represented the parity of the National Cup XVII Finals knockout rounds, no club had multiple champions, although the GPS conglomerate captured two titles – from GPS Maine and GPS New Hampshire. GPS had three more finalists representing Charlotte, Maine and New Hampshire, while STA and Eclipse SC had two finalists apiece. NEFC captured one championship and two runners-up trophies, while Apple Valley SC and South Shore Select each clinched one gold and silver finish.
Those teams that qualified to the National Cup XVII Finals through state championships fared well this past week. The 15-U Girls Super Group champions, White Bear Sambas ’03 Elite, competed after topping their division at the Minnesota State Cup. New Jersey State Cup representatives also had a strong showing, yielding three finalists, as well as the 17-U Boys Super Group champions, SJEB Rush ’01 Academy.
The NorCal State Cup qualified two national champions in CV Leon ’03 Green (15-U Boys Super Group) and Vision Academy ’02, along with finalist California Odyssey SC ’02 (16-U Boys Super Group).
The NEP State Cups – featuring Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island – continues to prove the strength of its pathway, as 10 teams from those state cups were competing on Tuesday for championships. Four of those teams earned gold.
Of the events, the Maine Cup saw GPS ME Phoenix ’05 Elite (13-U Boys Premier Group) go on to win its division title, and GPS ME Phoenix ’03 Elite made the final (15-U Girls Premier Group). From the Massachusetts Cup, South Shore Select ’04 AP clinched the 14-U Girls Super Group championship, while South Shore Select ‘01 AP (17-U Girls Super Group), NEFC ’01 NPL (17-U Boys Super Group), NEFC BBA ’02 NS Elite (16-U Girls Super Group) and FC Stars ’05 NPL (13-U Girls Super Group) all reached the championship match.
Two New Hampshire Cup qualifiers reached championship games with GPS NH ’01 NPL taking home the 17-U Boys Premier Group title, and GPS NH ’00 NPL finishing as 18/19-U Boys Super Group finalists. The Rhode Island Cup fielded one national champion in NEFC BBA ’04 South Elite (14-U Girls Premier Group).
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Tag(s): National Cup