216 Teams Competed over Memorial Day Weekend in the Ukrainian Nationals Youth Soccer Tournament: Special Tribute Given to United States War Veterans
By Eugene A. Luciw
Horsham, Pa. – Over the Memorial Day weekend, The Ukrainian American Sport Center – “Tryzub”, hosted its Fourteenth Annual Ukrainian Nationals Soccer Tournament. Youth teams from throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and five other Mid-Atlantic States entered the competition along with four teams from the Toronto-based Ukrainian Soccer Club, “Karpaty”.
Tournament play in age brackets, from Under-8 through Under-19 boys and Under-8 through Under-15 girls, progressed over the weekend on not only the Ukrainian Nationals’ six home fields at “Tryzubivka”, but also on many more pitches located at Zehr, Kohler, Turk, and Samuel Carpenter parks, and Lakeside and Rose Twig soccer fields. The tournament play coordinators used over twenty total fields of play.
The competition began on Friday night under the lights of two Tryzubivka fields, progressed throughout the day on Saturday and culminated in a long sequence of “finals” on Sunday.
Philadelphia singer and songwriter, Dan Rendine, provided daily live entertainment on Tryzub’s open air balcony. The weather was simply brilliant throughout most of the weekend.
U-11 Champions Ukrainian SC Karpaty (Toronto, Canada)
A soccer Mom’s and Dad’s appreciation night featuring a popular traditional Rock Band, Fake Uncle Jack, also highlighted the event. Hundreds of parents and competitors gathered in the Ukrainian American Sport Center’s clubhouse and lighted festival grove and pavilions. The evening culminated in a special salute and ceremony honoring America’s fallen heroes.
U-12 Champions Ukrainian SC Karpaty (Toronto, Canada)
As a further tribute to America’s War Veterans, to all of those who paid a price for our freedom, Tryzub lined its driveway with a sequence of historical US flags, from the original 13 star version to the current standard. The tournament program book and information booths provided thematic information, as well as information about the Travis Manion Foundation, which supports thousands of our veterans and their families. Dedicated to sharing the stories and carrying on the legacies of our Fallen Heroes, “The Travis Manion Foundation honors the fallen by challenging the living: We assist our nation’s veterans and service members, and support families of fallen heroes” (http://www.travismanion.org/). Significant proceeds from the tournament were donated to the foundation.
U-14 Finalists Ukrainian Nationals Tryzub Chornomorets (Red)
All of the finals matches took place at Tryzubivka. UASC Tryzub presented the champions and finalists with trophies depicting the Ukrainian Tryzub against the protective background of the American flag. The awards ceremony emphasized the dedication of the tournament to the memory of all of those who established, defended and protect America’s freedom. Parallel mention was also made of the Ukrainian peoples’ ongoing struggle for freedom and human dignity.
U-11 Champions Ukrainian Nationals Tryzub Zirka
Ambassadors from the Travis Manion foundation also addressed the champions and finalists with their motivational challenge that the youngsters never forget to incorporate good deeds, charitable pursuits and volunteerism into their lives: that is the challenge to the living which, if met, honors those who have given their lives for our freedom.
The national “GotSoccer” rating system has rated the Ukrainian Nationals tournament as Gold for Boys and Silver for Girls.
The tournament results are as follows: