Congratulations to all of the winners at our JPSA Columbus Day Tournament this past Monday! The day began around 8:30 in the morning with players making their way into the pavilion for check-in and team selection. I have to say the tournament was full of dedicated soccer players who were eager to play because when you looked outside on Monday morning it was dark, cold and wet! The true soccer lovers made it out on Monday and we were impressed with the quality they demonstrated on the field. Yes, there were winners in each division however the real winners were us coaches and parents who got to witness kids who were competing in an environment that was safe, educational and most importantly, fun. The tournament had two time slots with 4 different divisions.
The morning began with our youngest age group participating in the JPSA Portuguese Primeira Liga and consisted of the following club teams: Benfica, Porto, Sporting, Braga and Benfica Jrs, Porto Jrs, and Sporting Jrs. The start of the tournament games was delayed slightly because of some last minute transfers amongst the participating clubs. The games opened with a 1-1 tie between Benfica and Porto and Braga over Sporting with a 2-0 score line. In the Jr. 3 team round robin Sporting Jrs. were dominant in the 1st game with a 3-1 win. The games that took place in the first bracket were exciting, competitive and all close. This shows that the last minute transfers worked out to improve the quality of the tournament.
The Standings after round robin games:
- Porto (Sporting Jrs)
- Braga (Benfica Jrs)
- Benfica (Porto Jrs)
The semi- finals for the senior teams was as close as it could be with Porto beating Sporting by a 1 goal margin and Braga eliminating Benfica in penalties! This now set us up for a Final that consisted of Braga and Porto for the Seniors, and Benfica and Porto for the Juniors. We separated the Sporting Jrs. as they proved to be very strong in the earlier 3 team round robin.
There were, goals, assists, tackles, tears and more in both finals but it finished with the champions of the first time slot going to Braga and Benfica Jrs! Congratulations!!
Our second time slot for the tournament also had two divisions which were labeled JPSA La Liga and JPSA Serie A.
JPSA La Liga consisted of: Sevilla, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.
JPSA Serie A consisted of: Juventus, Inter Milan and Roma.
Many of the players lived up to the names of their teams as the coaches, siblings and parents were spectators of skillful players, healthy competitors and hard working players looking to win but enjoying each game that was played. The games were again very close in score line and similar to the first division. One thing that happened in the age group that normally does occur in our infamous JPSA tournaments is the last place team making it to the finals. Barcelona happened to finish in last place after the round robin games however battled to a 2-1 victory over Real Madrid who were the heavy favorites. Now I believe there was some controversy involved in this game as the 2nd goal might have been not fully over the line and JPSA has already begun discussions on if VAR should be used in these tournaments. We will keep you updated on this and hopefully we will have a decision before out Veteran’s day tournament on November 12th. If VAR is not used by then I trust that the players will respect the call of the coaches and continue their best efforts throughout the game keeping in line with our motto of sportsmanship. The Serie A Division had Juventus as the favorites going into the finals as you would expect! The games were very close and open as these games had higher score lines that the other division but this could have been due to the goal size as well as the non interest of some playing in goal.
The finals ended with Juventus winning the JPSA Serie A division and Atletico Madrid winning the JPSA La Liga División. Throughout the competition both of these teams showed their quality and were probably the two most consistent teams on the day!
Once again, this tournament was a successful one in reiterating our motto to players who attend any of the JPSA programs. The goal of these tournaments is to welcome all players who love the game, respect the game and want to compete with and amongst players of the same interest. There is a difference between a team competition and our individual tournaments. The strategies or tactics that need to be implemented in these tournaments come from the players themselves and not a set coach on the outside giving set instructions. There is an ownership of the game that comes from the players knowing that they don’t have a coach but they have a trainer or teacher who is guiding them at times in the game or commentating on the great pass they just made. The game of soccer is for everyone who wants to play it, watch it, listen to it and learn from it.
Thank you all for attending our JPSA Columbus Day Tournament this past Monday and we look forward to seeing you all again at our next one!
Monday, November 12th – Veterans Day Tournament @ Joe Palumbo Soccer Academy Facility
Sunday, November 25th – Turkey Bowl @ Premier Athletic Club Facility
Yours in soccer,