By the USASA National Veterans Cup Chair – Cezar Wasecki
The 18th edition of the USASA National Veterans Cup was held July 14-July 19, 2015 at the Hampton Roads Soccer Complex, in Virginia Beach. Close to 2,000 players on 91 teams registered to compete for titles in 14 different divisions. Beyond our usual returning international teams from Canada and Japan, we were also joined by a new team from Brazil.
Compared to last year, the tournament went by without any major interruptions. The weather gods were on our side and the rain only appeared during the night. We launched our new mobile app, which was a great success with over 1,000 active users. The mobile app made a huge difference for everyone involved as schedules, scores and standings were posted within an hour of game completion. Teams were able to receive regular tournament updates, upload game day pictures and post comments.
This year 14 games were played to decide our champions. The weather was extremely hot and humid, which made it difficult for the players to play, but the teams had their game faces on and left everything out on the fields.
In the women’s over 60, two-time Champion Motor City Classic was denied their third consecutive championship by NOVA FC. This was a very close game, but NOVA FC held on to a 1-0 win and their first title.
On the men’s over 60 side Oklahoma United returned to the final for the fourth year in a row. They were looking to add to their string of championships, but Freddy Fund was determined and won by a score of 1-0.
Kentucky Waterfall FC beat Eurotech for their second men’s over 45 title in a row. Kentucky won by a score of 4-0, avoiding OT like the previous year.
In the women’s over 40 we had a rematch of last year’s final between Mass Spirit and Flipping Sweet. The Texas team remembered last year’s bitter loss to Mass Spirit in a penalty shootout and was able to overcome them 1-0 this year. Another returning champion fell in the women’s over 50 division where we saw returning champion VA OMB play Leahi O50. The Hawaii team proved to be too strong and won a decisive 2-0 win.
The men’s over 65 division saw Golden State Legends avenge last year’s loss in the finals by beating North Carolina. The final score was 2-0. A new champion emerged in the women’s over 65 division as Lone Star Strikers took home the title with a 3-0 victory over Breakers.
In the men’s over 40, we saw Annandale Bier FC beat GPS 1-0. This was the second title in a row for Annandale Bier FC. Radnor was going for their second title in a row in the men’s over 50 division. However, they shared the same fate as many other defending champions, losing to Akron Sam Adams 3-1.
The women's over 55 final featured Breakers vs. Camp Springs. Last year, Camp Springs lost in the final by penalties. This year, they followed their game plan and were able to avenge last year’s loss with a 2-0 victory. Connecticut United took down last year’s men’s over 55 champion Real Lyold by a score of 3-1.
Massachusetts teams had lost in three finals until Mass Spirit was able to break the losing trend in the women’s over 30 division. They beat local team Dirty Thirties 5-0 for their second title in a row. Similarly in the men’s over 30 division, we saw Islanders defend their title by winning comfortably over FXBG United 6-1 for their third title in five years.
Finally in the men’s over 70, we saw Georgia United play Alemania in a very tight game. They went back and forth and this contest had to be settled via penalty kicks. Alemania came on top by a final score of 5-4 for their first title in this division.
Many thanks to Chris, Mary Beth and Jessie from the Metropolitan DC-Virginia Soccer Association, the City of Virginia Beach, Gina and her staff from the Hampton Roads Soccer Complex and all of the volunteers for making the 2015 Veterans Cup a success.
A special thanks to all of the referees who donated their time to officiate matches. This year we had approximately 90 refs from across the country. I also wanted to show my personal gratitude to the members of the national veterans cup committee and USASA staff who worked tirelessly throughout the year. They made sure that teams, players and referees were taken care of throughout the tournament. Without them this event would have not been possible.
In the coming days, we will be posting tournament pictures on the USASA website. Early next week we will be sending out a survey to all players. We are constantly looking how we can improve this event and encourage everyone to participate in the survey. The feedback is important to us.
Next year’s tournament is scheduled for July 12-17 in California. The location is being finalized and we will announce final details early this fall. I hope everyone enjoyed this year’s tournament and hope to see everyone back next year.
The USASA National Veterans Cup Committee
Cezar, Don, Keith, Lisa
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 old and above. Throughout the years the tournament has been held in various locations including Bellingham, Washington; Nashua, New Hampshire; Beckley, West Virginia; Honolulu, Hawaii; Wilmington, North Carolina, and Escondido, California. We average close to 100 teams at this tournament.