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Boys Mar 11, 2013

Jefferson Cup Boys Weekend, Day 3 recap: Champions crowned, strong play, players abound

By Jimmy LaRoue

More than 1,600 teams sought entry into this year’s Jefferson Cup, just under 900 were accepted, and about 400 of them were on display throughout a stirring boys’ weekend of the 2013 Jefferson Cup.

From early in the morning as the final group games kicked off–with championship trophies being polished–to the end of the afternoon with the last of the matches wrapping up, teams had a lot to play for.

Individual players were continuing to try and make favorable impression on the college coaches in attendance, including Virginia Commonwealth University coach Dave Giffard, who talked about the challenges players face when heading off to play for a Division I school.

For the teams, they were continuing to rise up to the level of competition they sought, and found.

And on a day three, rest and recovery efforts paid off for some and tested others.

Sam Mitchell, the coach of a Florida U-15 side Brandon FC 97 Boys Elite that won both of their Saturday games, had several players suffering from cramps by the end of the second match.

“Recovery, regeneration – the warm-up’s got to be spot-on, cooldown as well,” he told’s Michael Willis. “We encourage them all to get ice baths and take advantage of the hotel’s facilities. Hopefully we’ll be a little bit more loose tomorrow.

“I say it over and over again – I’m constantly chirping away at them,” he added with a chuckle.

The trainers were happy to not be so busy, but they were eager to help.

Cedar Stars Academy, who brought three teams to the Jefferson Cup, went home Sunday with two titles. The New Jersey club’s U-11s took the U-11 11v11 Championship title in a 1-0 win over JIGS/Elmont Roma, and its U-12s won the U-12 Championship 11v11 final 1-0 over another Jersey side, TSF Academy.

Not bad for a club who’s only been around for a year-and-a-half.

Younger players continued to make an impression, including Dylan “Minivan” Sullivan, normally a midfielder on his Soccer Plus Academy U-12 team but pressed into action as a goalkeeper in a PK shootout, ultimately proving successful in making key saves and helping his team to a win in the final of the U-12 Championship 8v8 bracket over FPYC FCV Fury.

In the U-13 Classic bracket, the upstart Alaskan side Matanuska AKFC 00 United went through Group A bracket play undefeated at 3-0-0, giving up just one goal while scoring eight and will make the 15-hour trip (through several flight connections) back to Wasilla with a Jefferson Cup title after a 5-4 win in the final over Triangle United Gold.

Their older counterparts, Matanuska AKFC 98 United, started out with a tie and a win on the opening day of Group B play in the U-15 Platinum division and had a chance to get to the final, but fell 2-1 to Soccer Plus Academy PSC Heat NPL-97 of New York.

Still, the Alaskan teams got what they wanted out of the tournament–better competition.

Older, U-16 through U-18 Championship groups rounded out the weekend. Here’s images from days one, two and three of the boys’ weekend, and look at each age group’s final results and standings:










Be sure to check out’s Jefferson Cup page for even more stories from the boys weekend and as girls’ weekend ramps up in a few days.

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