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D.C. Cup kicks off June 30th

The 3rd annual D.C. Cup is ready to kick off June 30th in Washington, D.C. and is projected to be the best edition in the tournament’s short history. This year, the tournament will welcome teams as far as Barbados, California, Canada, Texas, and Puerto Rico in addition to many teams from the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia for those not from the area) and teams on the east coast.

Games will be played at Edgewood Recreation, Jelleff Recreation, Dunbar High School, and McKinley High School which are some of the best turf fields in the city. Games will spread out throughout the city to allow visiting teams to experience all of the best that the city has to offer. The tournament encourages teams staying in the city to use public transportation to get out around as this is one of the best ways to see the city. An app called Moovit has worked for many out of town teams who have attended our tournament in the past, and it is an easy way to navigate the city.

One of the teams that will be attending from Barbados is Four Pillars Soccer Academy, and they are an interesting story. In 2019, the idea of the D.C. Cup came about after they visited Washington, D.C. on a tour to play friendly matches. During their tour they played 3 matches and had the opportunity to visit the Embassy of Barbados in Washington, D.C. The games were against Takoma Park Friends Soccer Club, who will be part of the D.C. Cup for the first time this year, Future Soccer Club where current D.C. Cup Tournament Director Glenn Goodwine was the Technical Director, and Doradus Soccer Club, one of the tournament’s founding members.

At the time, Tournament Administrator Justin Reid had just launched a sports tours company called Reid Sports and the goal was to target high school teams from the Caribbean who would be interested in coming to the U.S. Reid had spoken to a number of schools to do a tour in various soccer centric cities across the U.S., but one school in particular expressed interest in coming to the Washington, D.C. and that was St. Leonard’s Boys School coached by Fabian Massiah, the Director of Four Pillars. Reid maintained communication with Massiah and when he helped to co-found the D.C. Cup with Goodwine, he invited Massiah. Fast forward to today and Four Pillars will be making their first appearance in the D.C. Cup in 2023.

This year for the first time the D.C. Cup will have all age groups on the boys side filled from U-12 – U-19. It also presents the first year that we will see girls teams participating in the event. The tournament didn’t hit its target of filling all of the age groups on the girls side, but it will feature teams from California and Puerto Rico who will face off against the local teams from Virginia and Maryland. When asked what he expects to see from this year’s D.C. Cup, Reid said, “We are expecting an exciting tournament for the teams both on and off the field. We will have more out of town teams than ever before and speaking to many of the coaches, I really like how they are planning on not just making the tournament an opportunity for their teams to play games, but to also enjoy our great city. We will also receive the most support from local teams than ever before, and even that is exciting for us because we know how important the support of the local teams is if we are to have a tournament that will grow for years to come.”

The first set of games are scheduled to kick-off June 30th at four sites. The schedule will be available June 23rd, but one marquee match-up is in the U-19 age group where East York Soccer Club (Canada) ranked in the top 5 of Top Rated, Canada’s version of GotSport, will play Patuxent Football Academy, a Maryland based club who plays at the USL level with USL Academy teams and has won a handful of Maryland State Championships. The tournament will feature many other intriguing match-ups with former state and regional champions. Reid explains further, “We don’t have a tournament with hundreds of teams like several of the others, but what makes us strong is the quality of teams that we have attracted. The time of the year that we are hosting the event is unconventional and has been a hurdle for us to be able to obtain a lot of teams, but I think that is what makes us truly a special event. Teams can enjoy playing soccer in the Nation’s Capital during Independence Day and can also enjoy our city with visits to the White House, Capitol, Martin Luther King Jr. statue, and more. We don’t have sprawling facilities with 20-25 teams at a complex here because we are in a city, so at most of our facilities you will either see 1 field at a recreation center or high school, but no more than 3 fields at any one facility. But the fields are quality. So the tournament’s ambiance gives our guests the feeling of playing in a city, and that is what you will experience by coming to the D.C. Cup.”

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