MSSA Rowland & Stewart Cups to begin on January 27
Maryland’s governing body for adult amateur soccer is returning to tradition while beginning a new one with the 2013 edition of their annual MSSA Cups. As was done in the early days of Maryland’s competitions, the winner of the Rowland Cup will represent the state in the US Open Cup while the champion of the Stewart Cup will advance to the US Amateur Cup. The US Over-30 Cup will be represented by the Maryland O-30 Cup titlist.
The H.C.W. Rowland Challenge Cup, donated by Mrs. H.C.W. Rowland in the interest of Association Football, was presented on 1 March 1914. The Maryland champion represented the state in the US National Challenge Cup, precursor of the US Open Cup. Baltimore SC shared the title in 1940 along with Sparta Fallstaff of Chicago after the two sides drew 2:2 aggregate after two matches and could not come to an agreement to play a third game. In 2005 the Baltimore Colts hoisted the Werner Fricker US Open Cup as the winner of the USASA title.
The National Amateur Cup was established in 1923 in response to the overwhelming number of teams participating in the National Challenge Cup. The Harry A. Stewart Trophy for the Amateur Challenge Cup Competition was presented in 1932. Harry Stewart was the first president of the Maryland State Soccer Association. The British Lions defeated St. Louis Kutis SC to take the title in 1969.
The Maryland Bays look to defend both titles and advance to the Region I qualifiers of the two competitions. In the Maryland Over-30 Cup, Christos FC seek to not only repeat as the state champion but also the national winner of the US Over-30 Cup. The competition will be fierce as there are entries from the Maryland Major Soccer League, the Washington Premier League and the Maryland International Soccer League.
Maryland inaugurates the Morton Cup in 2013 in honor of former MSSA Vice President Darwin “Lefty” Morton. This competition is for teams that did not enter the Rowland or Stewart Cups and has 16 teams vying for the state title. The top two teams in the four groups will advance to the knockout rounds.
Once again, Maryland has a big cup field and the competitions are broken as follows:
- Rowland Cup – 9 teams
- Stewart Cup – 10 teams
- Morton Cup – 16 teams
- Maryland Over-30 Cup – 5 teams