Sandy, UT (10/24/2017)
What a way to wrap up a tremendous tournament. Fall State Cup featured everything that you could possibly ask for in a tournament, favorites and cinderellas making deep runs, tight games, goals galore. It was a fantastic event.
The finals were no different. 4 games were played, 4 champions were crowned, and 4 teams booked their flight to Hawaii for regionals next Summer.
Before we move into the recap, we want to thank all of the teams, players, parents, and coaches who made this State Cup one of the best we've had. Without you, none of this would be possible. We thank you all for the memories that you have given us and hope you keep some for yourselves as well. We look forward to seeing all of you again next year.
For the first time in several years this age group did not feature a La Roca team in the final, a new champion would be discovered, but who would it be. Would it be Utah Storm, the team who had dethroned the champion and held off the upstart challenger, or would it be Sparta United who has been so close to being champion in the past.
The answer was determined on the field, with Sparta emerging victorious 3-0 behind a brace from Cuauhtemoc Borjon-Saucedo. It was a well fought game that looked to go either way before Sparta added some insurance goals and and cruised to victory.
Sparta United had the opportunity to win two State Cup championships in the first 2 games on Finals day. They did it. The Sparta 01 Premier JK team is defending State Cup champions, again. The team coached by Justus Koelliker is one of the finer teams in the state and always a threat to bring home the title. They took on a scrappy and talented Utah Rangers FC team that gave them a run for their money.
While Sparta was leading 2-0 and looking to coast to another championship, Utah Rangers FC had other ideas and quickly made it 2-2 in the second half behind some fantastic goals. Unfortunately for them, the joy of tying it up would not be enough to get them across the finish line, as Sparta, like the champions they are, fought through the adversity and scored one more time to win 3-2.
There was State Cup history made tonight as UDA claimed its first ever State Cup championship with the UDA 00B Blue team! They took on another Sparta team, a Sparta team that was eager to win a State Cup championship after coming up just short last year. Unfortunately, their first half goal from Matthew Ferre was not enough as they lost 3-1.
UDA came from behind to tie the game up 1-1. Before things got intense, after a foul in the corner brought both teams together and ended in a red card to UDA. Not to be discouraged UDA kept coming at Sparta and managed to score 2 more goals to take the title, the history, and the spot in Hawaii.
Defending State Cup champions Utah Rangers FC 99 were back in the final and once again they left victorious. They took on AFC Apex 99 College Prep in a tight game between two outstanding coaches and teams. With this being the last year for these players at State Cup, you could see how much it meant to them as both teams gave it absolutely everything they had, in a fantastic final.
Utah Rangers went up 2-0 and were halfway to Hawaii, before AFC Apex made a game of it and tied it up 2-2 in the second half. The battle continued and there was a sense the next goal was going to be huge in determining the outcome of the game. It was, as was the one that followed that, as Utah Rangers scored 2 more times, one of which featured a fantastic flip celebration, to win 4-2 and advance to Hawaii.
For the full scores and schedule of the tournament, click HERE