Featuring 420 players from 36 different states
This past week, Soccer Youth hosted the All-American Golden Cup at the Paradise Coast Sports Complex in Naples, Florida, and the talent on display definitely did not disappoint. Filled with the top talent from our past All-American Series events and other areas of the nation, the Golden Cup included over 420 players from 36 different states. The groups packed with top talent which led to some intense group and knockout stage match ups throughout the week. Here is a recap of the week, highlighting the finals, individual player awards, and Skills Challenge winners for each division.
12-13 Boys/Girls Division
The Stars started off slow in the showcase game but ended up taking the top spot in the group with 2 wins and a draw. They were followed by Liberty, who finished the group stage with 2 wins and 1 loss. This was good enough for them to join the Stars and receive a bye in the knockout stages. Championship Saturday started off with two quarter final matches, and both were very close games. The Stripes were able to escape with a 2-1 win after the Patriots missed a crucial PK in the final minute of the game. Freedom and Senators both consistently, but Freedom has the last word as they advanced to the semi-finals with a 4-3 victory. The semi-final matches were a different story, as the Stars cruised to an 8-3 victory over Freedom, and Liberty won their match 6-3 over the Stripes. The final was a similar story, as Liberty was able to take an early lead and didn’t look back. Liberty took home the Golden Cup with a 6-3 victory over the Stars.
- Golden Ball – Jayden Lopez and Samuel Skillern
- Golden Boot – Kayden Dennis, Jayden Lopez, and Samuel Skillern
- Golden Gloves – Brody Bernstein
- Lockdown Defender – Gavin Vasquez
- Sharp Shooter Champion – Jayden Lopez
- Goalkeeper Wars Champion – Brody Bernstein
11 Boys Division
The Freedom was the team to beat, as they finished the group stage at the top of the table with 2 wins and a tie. Entering Championship Saturday, Freedom was able to continue their winning ways with a 2-0 win over the Stars. The Liberty were able to squeeze passed the Stars with a 4-3 victory and advance to the championship game. The Freedom didn’t stop their winning ways in the final, claiming the Golden Cup with a 5-3 win over Freedom.
- Golden Ball – Oliver Chatwell
- Golden Boot – JayJay Gauman
- Golden Gloves – Bojann Leonel Cabellero
- Lockdown Defender – Colt Marchetti
- Sharp Shooter Champion – Lucas Ellis
- Goalkeeper Wars Champion – Wilkes Perkins
10-11 Girls Division
The Stars finished the group stages at the top of the group and were able to receive a bye into the finals for the Golden Cup. Championship Saturday started off with the semi-final match-up between Freedom and Liberty. Freedom was able to come away with a 3-1 victory and place themselves in the finals against the Stars. The final was a rematch of a group play game, where the Stars won 2-0. In the final it was a different story, and the Freedom were able to keep the game close. At the end of the day the Stars came away with a 4-3 win and lifted the Golden Cup.
- Golden Ball – Ava Fanchi
- Golden Boot – Trinity Bledsoe, Ava Fanchi, and Madison Brock
- Golden Gloves – Rylee Boone
- Lockdown Defender – Kaylani Bostic
- Sharp Shooter Champion – Mia Belle Drossel
09-10 Boys Division
Liberty made a statement in the group stages, winning all three of their games and claiming top seed in the group. The Stripes and Patriots both finished with two wins and a loss, but the Stripes claimed the #2 seed and bye into the semi-final by goal differential. Championship Saturday started out with two quarter-final matches, where the Stars put on a dominating performance against the Senators to move on to the semi-final. Freedom, who finished at the bottom of the table in group, came out with some new energy and upset the Patriots to move on to the semi-finals. There were more upsets in the semi-finals as well, where we saw Stars take down the #1 seed Stars in a 5-3 victory. Freedom put up a great fight in their semi-final match but came up one goal short as the Stripes won 6-5. The Stars continued their upset streak in the final, taking down the Stripes and claiming the Golden Cup.
- Golden Ball – Adam Brooks Firestone
- Golden Boot – Talmage Perkins and Adam Brooks Firestone
- Golden Gloves – Alex Witte
- Lockdown Defender – Trey Chewning
- Sharp Shooter Champion – Tyler Perez-Cubas
- Goalkeeper Wars Champion – Alex Witte
08-09 Girls Division
Probably the most competitive group in the tournament, three teams finished with a 2-1-0 record, and the seeding was determined by goal differential. Stripes ended up winning the group and claiming the top seed based on goals scored. Championship Saturday was one for the books, as all the games were decided by 1 goal. Stripes were able to pull off a 1-0 over Freedom, and the Stars defeated Liberty 4-3. The final was a nail-biter, with both teams scoring multiple goals in the 40-minute match. The Stripes were able to hold on to a 3-2 lead to claim a victory over the Stars and raise the Golden Cup.
- Golden Ball – Natalie Grant
- Golden Boot – Shaylin Taylor
- Golden Gloves – Avery Rinke
- Lockdown Defender – Logan Smith
- Sharp Shooter Champion -Taylor Foss
- Goalkeeper Wars Champion – Chloe Bligh
08 Boys Division
There was a lot of talent in this group, and it showed in the group and knockout stages. Director Paul Williams said “The 08 boys division was highly competitive and feel very confident that a several of the players will go on to make a name for themselves in the near future. Soccer Youth truly provided a platform for all to showcase their talent”. The Stars went undefeated in the group stage, winning 2 games and tying one to claim the #1 seed. On Championship Saturday, the stars continued their winning ways with a 4-3 win over the Stripes. Liberty and Freedom went to a PK shootout, where the Freedom were able to advance to the final after scoring the game-winning PK. The final was very close, and Freedom were able to take the lead with less than 5 minutes left in the match. The Stars were able to score an equalizer in the final minutes of the game, and the game was decided by PKs. Some big goals were scored in the shootout, but two massive saves from the Star’s keeper helped seal the win for the Stars and come home with the Golden Cup.
- Golden Ball – David Garcia
- Golden Boot – David Garcia
- Golden Gloves – Drew Hall
- Lockdown Defender – Drew Maas and Gabriel Merriman
- Sharp Shooter Champion – Trey Dennis
- Goalkeeper Wars Champion – Dominic Rinaudo
06-07 Girls Division
The Stars and Stripes were both equal on point at the end of the group stage, but it was the Stripes who were able to claim the top seed based on goal differential. The Stars made a statement in the semi-final on Championship Saturday with their victory over Freedom. The semi-final between Stripes and Liberty was decided by PK’s, and the winner moved on to the final game. The Stars continued to show their dominance, taking a 5-1 victory in the final and raising the Golden Cup.
- Golden Ball – Molly Messer
- Golden Boot -Lauren Christy
- Golden Gloves – Yumari Hernandez
- Lockdown Defender – Katherine Batres
- Sharp Shooter Champion – Jaylianie Lucas
- Goalkeeper Wars Champion – Alyssa Brubacher
06-07 Boys Division
Three teams were tied on points at the end of the group stages. The Stripes claimed the top seed, as they were ahead of Liberty and Freedom when it came to goal differential. The Stripes were victorious in the semi-final on Championship Saturday, winning 5-2 over the Stars. Freedom also won their match 2-0 against Liberty to seal their spot in the final. Stripes were able to keep their winning streak alive in the final, as they came out of the final on top 2-0 to claim the Golden Cup.
- Golden Ball – Lucas Trull
- Golden Boot – Mujtaba Khan
- Golden Gloves – Enzo Mori
- Lockdown Defender – Zane Busch and Ronin Buchanan
- Sharp Shooter Champion – William McNay
- Goalkeeper Wars Champion – Justus Holden
03-05 Girls Division
Liberty was able to claim the top seed after the group stage and booked themselves a spot in the final. Championship Saturday started with a semi-final match between Freedom and the Stars. The Freedom were able to get their ticket into the final with a narrow 2-1 victory over the Stars. In the final, Liberty played a great match against the Freedom and came away with a 5-2 victory for the Golden Cup.
- Golden Ball – Brianna Rodriguez
- Golden Boot – Anna Bonini
- Golden Gloves – Ella Bradley
- Lockdown Defender – Emma Laupert
- Sharp Shooter Champion – Ella Bradley
- Goalkeeper Wars Champion – Ella Bradley
03-05 Boys Division
Liberty was able to claim the top seed after the group stage, with Stripes following closely behind in 2nd place at the end of the group stage. Championship Saturday saw Liberty continue their winning ways with a 6-0 victory over Freedom. Stripes were able to hold off the Stars with a 3-2 win to book their spot in the finals. The final was a high scoring game, with a total of 10 goals between the two teams. Liberty was the team that came out on top with a 6-4 win and took home the Golden Cup.
- Golden Ball – Jack Panayotou
- Golden Boot – Jack Panayotou
- Golden Gloves – Vraj Patel
- Lockdown Defender – Caden Spicer
- Sharp Shooter Champion – Colby Miller
- Goalkeeper Wars Champion – Jonathan Sutton
Some quotes from Soccer Youth:
“The 2020 Golden Cup was full of top-notch talent from 36 different states. Developing friendships through high level soccer, will always be one of the goals of Soccer Youth and it was on full display at the Golden Cup. Watching teams come together and develop chemistry in a few days time and compete for the championship as one unit is awesome to see. The competition was fierce and well balanced as 7 games went to penalties on the final day of the tournament. 2021 looks to be an even bigger and more successful year for Soccer Youth. Do you have what it takes to make it to the 2021 Golden Cup?” – Max Hammond, Vice President & Tournament Director of Soccer Youth
“As someone who grew up playing soccer all over from the United States to parts of Europe the Soccer Youth Golden Cup provides an awesome experience for players and parents! Between the family friendly atmosphere, to the top talented players from all around the nation and the fantastic facility Paradise Coast Sports Complex, the Golden Cup gives a true soccer experience like no other! All Soccer Youth events gives players the opportunity to showcase their abilities while creating bonds and friendships through the beautiful game!” – Cory Hilton, Assistant Tournament Director of Soccer Youth
“The Golden Cup was something special. The talent pool was exceptional which put on an action packed couple days of great soccer. It was great to see players compete with top players from other events. Thanks you players for putting on a show I’ll never forget.” – Temo Lall, Assistant Tournament Director of Soccer Youth
“2020 was a whirlwind of a year for Soccer Youth and the rest of the world. Being able to shed some optimism and joy at the Golden Cup during times of uncertainty meant a lot for me on personal and professional level. Thanks to all of those that participated throughout the year. Cheers to a full slate of Soccer Youth in 2021 and best wishes until we meet again!” – Charles Hall, Assistant Tournament Director of Soccer Youth
“Big shout-out to all the families who traveled to Naples for the Golden Cup. Over 420 players representing 36 states were on hand at the Paradise Coast Sports Complex. The Golden Cup did not disappoint. We saw some amazing talent in all divisions! We look forward to what 2021 brings us! – Scott Hacker, President of Soccer Youth