The finals took place on the weekend of 17 & 18 June at the Ukrainian American Sports Center in Horsham, Pennsylvania. It included the Under-23 Cup with group play on Saturday.
Saturday, 17 June
US Amateur Cup for the Fritz Marth Trophy
Junior Lone Star (EPA) 0:3 Lansdowne Bhoys FC (ENY)
Lansdowne Bhoys FC of Eastern New York were in the running for the Region Cup Double and it started with the final in the US Amateur Cup for the Fritz Marth Trophy against Junior Lone Star of Eastern Pennsylvania. Darryl Kavanagh's 20th minute strike on the right of the goal was all it took as Lansdowne cruised to a 3:0 shutout. Ovan Oakley created a keeper error and was able to tap in the second goal in the 35th while Ibrahim Diaby put it out of reach with his goal in the second half. Abdoukarim Danso earned the clean sheet with assistance in the back from captain Sean Kelly & Tom Wharf.
Sunday, 18 June
Gerhard Mengel Cup - Over-30 Championship
Christos FC (MD) 4:2 Danbury United (CT)
Christos FC were shooting for a Region Cup Double of their own as they would meet Lansdowne in the Werner Fricker Cup final. The first hurdle was against Danbury United of Connecticut for the Gerhard Mengel Cup. Mauro Dos Santos gave Danbury the early lead in the 17th but Lucio Gonzaga drew it even four minutes later. Dan Lader set up Kevin Mezzedra to put Christos ahead in the 28th and the half ended at 2:1 for the Maryland side. United were not going to quit with Jeff Agne tying it up in the 65th. The match appeared to head into extra time but Mezzedra got his brace in the 84th for the game winner and Chris Ports added another in injury time. Christos captain Val Teixeira lifted the trophy, the fourth in six years for his team in this competition.
Werner Fricker Cup - Amateur Open Championship
Christos FC (MD) 1:1 (2:3 PK) Lansdowne Bhoys (ENY)
One of these two were heading home with the double. Question was whether the trophies were heading north on I-95 or south. Christos attained both the Region & National double last summer and it did so edging Lansdowne 1:0 in the Region's Amateur Cup final. Both clubs dominated their state competitions and this final was expected to be a good one. Neither side disappointed those who were in attendance. Lansdowne struck first, again through Kavanaugh as his corner kick got past everyone in a scrum in front of the goal 15 minutes in. The Bhoys held off pressure and went into the half up 1:0. Christos continued to knock on the door and it paid off as Mamadou Kansaye leveled it in the 60th with a wonderful strike. Both teams were unable to take advantage of their opportunities through either regulation and extra time. Penalties were to decide the winner. It went to the fifth round with Lansdowne taking the final kick at 2:2. Francois "Paco" Navarro calmly placed it in the left corner to provide his side the victory. It was a final worthy of two of the best amateur sides in the United States.
West Chester Predators (EPA) 3:2 Annandale United FC (EDP)
After group play on Saturday and then Sunday morning semifinals, the two finalists for the Under-23 Cup featured last year's champion, West Chester Predators of Eastern Pennsylvania against the 2014 winner, Annandale United FC of the EDP league. Both sides won their groups on Saturday. West Chester edged Rosedale SuperEagles of Eastern New York in the semifinal by a 2:1 result. Annandale went through on penalties 4:2 after a scoreless draw against the United German Hungarians White of Eastern Pennsylvania. The championship match looked to be an easy ride for the Predators as they went up 3:0 but United fought back to close the gap by a single goal. It was not enough as West Chester lifted the trophy for the second consecutive season.
The 2017 Region I Cup season came to a conclusion on Father's Day weekend at the Tryzub Ukrainian American Sport Center in Horsham, Pennsylvania. Region I completed an extraordinary season with the Under-23 Cup Tournament and its three finals. Throughout the weekend it was a great display of soccer among many players.
Congratulations to Lansdowne Bhoys FC of Eastern New York in attaining the Region Cup Double by winning the Fritz Marth Trophy for the US Amateur Cup and the Werner Fricker Cup, the Open Championship. The Gerhard Mengel Cup, the Over-30 Championship saw a familiar face, Christos FC of Maryland lifting the trophy for the fourth time in six years. The West Chester United Soccer Predators Men of Eastern Pennsylvania repeated its feat of last year again winning the Under-23 Cup. We also congratulate our finalists on a fine season: Junior Lone Star Football Club of Eastern Pennsylvania (Amateur Cup), Christos FC (Werner Fricker Cup), Danbury United of Connecticut (Gerhard Mengel Cup) and Annandale United FC of EDP (U23 Cup).
What made this cup season remarkable was the use of social media to promote our cup rounds from the quarterfinals up to the final. It was a collective effort that frankly took off as our clubs/teams created match graphics, posted details on Facebook & Twitter of times and locations of games and kept all fans up to date of results as they were happening. Gone are the days where maybe we got scores via email by Tuesday. This past spring, folks knew the final tally moments after the final whistle was blown. Great thanks to our clubs/teams, including some who did not make it to the regional qualifiers, our Region I leagues & state associations and many others who not only showed interest in our competitions but helped us promote them. Region I is definitely on the soccer social media map and it would not have been done without so many getting involved. Comraderies have been created among opponents and other clubs/teams want to get into the action next season. For those whose states are not running qualifiers, get them to do so. These cups have a great history in US Soccer. Region I encourages United States Adult Soccer Association and its brethren regions, USASA Region II, USASA Region III & USASA Region IV to make use of social media. We push the clubs/teams in those regions to do so as well.
Great thanks to our Cup Team whose work behind the scenes makes all of this happen. Thanks to Gus, Fritz, John, Werner, Scott, Andy, Michael, David & Tony. Thanks to all of the referees who officiated our matches. Thanks to Connecticut State Soccer Association, Eastern New York State Amateur Soccer Association, Eastern Pennsylvania Soccer Association, Maryland State Soccer Association, Massachusetts Adult State Soccer Association, Metropolitan DC-Virginia Soccer Association, New Jersey Soccer Association & Western New York Soccer Association for managing their qualifiers. The success of this program is at the state level and we appreciate the hard work to get this done. But most of all, thanks to the teams for their efforts and competitive spirit.
We like to brag of the success of our teams in the national finals. Last summer, Christos FC (two cups) and Phoenix Sports Club of Eastern Pennsylvania brought all three titles to the Region. We expect of the same from Lansdowne Bhoys and Christos FC this season. We wish them luck as they prepare for the national finals, the US Amateur Cup for the Fritz Marth Trophy will be played 4 & 5 August at the grounds of the Milwaukee Bavarians while the Werner Fricker & Gerhard Mengel Cups will be hosted by Region II and the Michigan State Soccer on 18 & 19 August at the Ultimate Soccer Arena in Pontiac, Michigan.
We have fun creating mottos for use in our Region. One of our favorites is First in your Hearts, First on the Pitch. Last season, we came up with We Play Soccer. We toyed around with We Love Cups. The hashtag for this past cup season was #thisissoccer. The latest on our minds is Making US Adult Soccer Great Again. This is a great game and there is a lot of super play among our amateur leagues. Keep on playing.
2017 Amateur Cup
2017 Werner Fricker Cup
2017 Gerhard Mengel Cup