At the FCUSA National Cup this past weekend, FCUSA New Jersey 2005 boys welcomed their close friends FCUSA Philadelphia in the final group game with the winner being crowned the champions of the tournament. Both teams entered the last game unbeaten having played strong opposition in a 2004 age bracket.
FCUSA PA made a very strong start creating numerous opportunities and showcasing great possession. FCUSA NJ soon settled into the game and created chances of their own coming close on several occasions. The first half played out scoreless under the scorching heat as both teams could have gone into halftime with the lead.
FCUSA PA made a quick start with a great one on one finish from Ben Hoyt showing composure to put PA 1-0 ahead. FCUSA NJ adjusted their game plan and made a few tactical changes to adapt to the game with them having to win to stand a chance of clinching the silverware. With FCUSA NJ growing back into the game, Benjamin Young displayed fantastic dribbling to beat two players before lobbing the goalkeeper from just inside the penalty box to equalize for NJ.
The game displayed great counter-attacking with end to end opportunities and with both sides battling for the win; showing positive aggression to go on and seek the winning goal. Both teams had chances to go ahead but it was Gerasimos Filipatos of PA who took his chance to put FCUSA PA 2-1 ahead. After the disappointment of conceding, NJ responded strongly pushing their rivals to get back into the game. However, PA capitalized on NJ getting players forward, scoring on a breakaway to take a comfortable 3-1 lead with a nice finish from Max Schmieder.
FCUSA NJ’s heads didn’t go down but it was a little too late as Colin Kesler scored late on in the game through a great run and calm finish to make it 3-2. PA finished the game as winners despite NJ’s best efforts to win the game with PA claiming the medals for 1st Place.
Overall it was a great spectacle with both sides demonstrating what it takes to be an FCUSA player. Showing full respect for one another whilst battling it out for the win. James Morris, head coach of the PA team spoke of how proud he was after the game, “The way both teams played and carried themselves before and after the game makes me proud to be part of this club. We try to develop not just the player but also the person and the mutual respect the players shared was outstanding.”
FCUSA is a national club with teams from all over the country and over 2000 players. The game showed the philosophy and style of play FCUSA try to install as well as the key core values we expect from all of the players. It was not just a game of soccer, this was a one big family coming together to enjoy watching their children play the game they love.