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MSSA 2016 Cups Summary

Morton Cup  Off to Good Start
Match Day 1 Complete

Next set of fixtures to be played Sunday. (11 January) The weather was mild, the rain had stopped and we got all four Morton Cup matches played before the cold front came through. Christos FC Topguns gave newcomer MD City FC a harsh welcome with a 6:0 trashing. Topguns leads the Group B standings along with Capital Rovers who defeated Mando Ramos FC 2:1. In Group A, Brothers United got a 2:0 shutout Malawi over FC while Jouons Premier FC edged by Catonsville FC 3:2. Banditos Blazers (Group A) and Scorpions FC (Group B) will make their cup debut next Sunday. Two games will take place at Montgomery Blair HS and the other pair will be at Blandair Park.

Match Day 2 for Morton Cup
Jouons Premier & Capital Rovers Take Group Leads

Rowland Cup kicks off group play on Sunday. (19 January) We got our second set of group match played in the Morton Cup. Jouons Premier FC made it two straight wins and tops Group A after a 3:1 defeat of Malawi FC. Banditos Blazers got off to a good start entering the group in a 5:4 goalfest victory over Catonsville FC. Group B is lead by Capital Rovers who demolished Maryland City FC 6:1. The other group match saw Scorpions FC win its inaugural game with a 4:0 shutout over Christos FC Topguns. The third match day takes place Sunday at Montgomery Blair HS and Blandair Park. Go to the Morton Cup tab above for details.

The Rowland Cup takes on a new look as we try group play format for this season. The two group winners will meet in the final scheduled for 14 February if the weather cooperates. Martin Luther King Park is the site for two matches featuring El Salvador against Christos FC and Alexandria Reds taking on Academy FC. Catonsville FC Orange will battle Yinz United at Blandair Park. The complete schedule and groupings can be found on the Rowland Cup tab above.

It's Not Happening
Winter Blizzard Stops Cup Action

This weekend's fixtures to be rescheduled in February. (23 January) We got snow all right. Plenty of it and the fields are buried with it. So it halts our cup program for this weekend. If we get lucky with a good meltdown, we resume to our regularly scheduled program next weekend. The plan is to stick with the fixtures as posted and reschedule this weekend's outings on 14 February. So enjoy digging out, catch as many games as you can on TV and keep an eye here for the latest developments.

It's No-Go Again
Not Enough Snow Melted to Open Fields

The fixtures for 7 February will be as scheduled. (30 January) We lose out on a second straight weekend but the forecast looks good to get on back on track next Sunday. The two dates we missed will get rescheduled and updated Morton & Rowland Cups will be posted here once confirmed. There may be adjustments to the Stewart Cup as well.

We Are Back
Fields Are Clear, Games Are On!

The original fixture list for the Morton & Rowland Cups for 7 February will be played. (6 February) We resume with the Morton & Rowland Cups as originally scheduled. The make-up for the games that were snowed out will be updated in the next few days along with the revised schedule for the Stewart Cup.

Rowland Gets Into Gear
Morton Cup Group Play Winding Down 

After two successive snow outs, we finally get cup action back onto the pitch. (8 February) The Rowland Cup in its new format finally got its first round games in. Seven teams split into two groups are vying for Maryland's Open crown. In Group A, Academy FC and El Salvador played out a 1:1 draw while Christos FC picked up 3 points as Alexandria Reds were not able to field a side. In the lone Group B match, ASA Charm City shutout Catonsville FC Orange 2:0.

We have gone past the halfway point in the Morton Cup with two rounds left. Banditos Blazers joined Jouons Premier FC at the top of the Group A standings after edging Brothers United 2:1. Catonsville FC Blue picked up their first victory with a 7:2 mauling of Malawi FC. In Group B action, Scorpions continue their dominance with a 10:2 beating of Mandos Ramos FC. They are joined at the top by Christos FC Topguns who defeated Capital Rovers 5:1. The top two teams in each group will meet in the semifinals that should be played on 28 February.

Group Play to Wrap Up
Rowland & Morton Cups Finals Around the Corner

Stewart Cup finally to get into action at end of the month. (16 February) It was cold but the winds had gone away. We got a number of our games played but unfortunately had a few teams that were unable to get players to commit. So it was a mixed result in our cup group play in the Rowland & Morton Cup this past Sunday.

For the Rowland Cup, this final match day will determine our two finalists. Christos FC leads Group A after a 2:1 win over El Salvador. They will need only a draw to advance to the final when they play Academy FC on Sunday. The winner of Group B will also be determined this weekend between Yinz United and ASA Charm City. The two sides are tied at 6 points after Yinz defeated Catonsville FC Orange 4:1. Yinz has the edge right now with goal differential, meaning that Charm City needs a victory to advance. These last two Rowland Cup group matches will be played at Blandair Park.

The Morton Cup will have the top two in each group go through to the semifinals but as is the case in the Rowland, nothing is clear with one match to play. Both groups have the possibility of a three-way tie. So the results will weigh heavily. Capital Rovers finished group play on a strong note getting by Scorpions FC 4:3. They lead the group with 9 points and are followed by the Scorpions and Christos FC Topguns who both are at 6 points. Group A is in a similar situation with Banditos Blazers holding a 3-point advantage over Brothers United and Jouons Premier FC. Banditos has a showdown against Jouons on Sunday while Brothers United take on Catonsville FC Blue. A draw sees the Blazers through.

Rowland Final Set
Semifinals for Morton Cup on Sunday Too 

Christos & Yinz to battle for Maryland's oldest competition. (24 February) We have our first final ready to go as Christos FC and Yinz United topped their groups to reach the title match for the Rowland Cup. This season we changed the format and had the teams compete in group play to determine the two finalists. Christos completed a perfect record with a 4-goal shutout over Academy FC. Yinz also cleaned the slate putting away ASA Charm City 3:0 in what effectively was the group final going into the last match day. The Rowland Cup was established in 1914 and is Maryland's Open championship. The final is set for this Sunday at Troy Park at 11:00 with the winner advancing to the Region I qualifiers for the Werner Fricker Open Cup.

The Morton Cup had in interesting twist with both groups finishing in a three-way tie at the top. The first two in each group move on to the semifinals. Goal differential determined the tie breaker as the three gave each other their lone defeats. Brothers United took the honors for Group A after edging Catonsville FC Blue 2:1. They will meet Group B runner-up Christos FC Topguns who had the same result against Mandos Ramos FC. Scorpions FC will play in the other semifinal as the Group B winner where they go head-to-head against Jouons Premier FC. The semifinals will be played Sunday at Long Reach High School.

After losing out two weekends due to snow fall, we have our remaining schedule sorted out. The Stewart Cup kicks off on 6 March with quarterfinal play. Later in March we go to the Maryland Over-30 Cup. 

Christos Take Rowland Title
Brothers United & Jouons Premier Vie for Morton Cup

Stewart Cup kicks off this weekend. (2 March) We have our first cup champion for the season and will reach the halfway point of our competitions by this Sunday. Christos FC lifted the Rowland Cup as they edged Yinz United 2:1 with a brace from Elton Joe. After a scoreless first half, Danny Baxter sent the ball from deep to Andrew Wells at the 55th minute mark. Wells looked up from midfield and drove the ball to the top of the 18 line where Joe controlled it with his chest, flicked it over the defender and hit a volley into the upper left corner of the goal. Ten minutes later, Collin Rome played a ball from the right flank to Joe who was making his run towards the penalty area. With a spin move the Christos striker once again put it away in the left corner, this time the bottom side. Murat Kayali brought back some life for Yinz around the 80th minute when he made good on a scramble from a corner kick. Christos held on though to take the cup and will advance to the Region I qualifiers for the Werner Fricker Open Cup.

The next title match will be the Morton Cup where Group A opponents Brothers United and Jouons Premier FC meet again, this time to decide the championship. Brothers United defeated Christos FC Topguns 2:1 in the first semifinal while Jouons Premier advanced with a 3:0 shutout of Scorpions FC. In the group match played last month between these two finalists, Brothers United gave Jouons Premier their lone defeat. The final will be played Sunday morning at Troy Park.

We get our third competition up and running with quarterfinals of the Stewart Cup on Sunday. Games will be played at both Troy and Blandair Parks. 

Brothers United Morton Champs
Edge Jouons Premier in Penalty Rounds

Stewart Cup is down to semifinals. (14 March) Brothers United has played in each edition of the Morton Cup since its inception and they returned for a second year to the final. Last season saw them defeated by Sierra Rangers in the title match but this time the result ended in their favor. Their opponent was cup debutant Jouons Premier FC, whom they met in group play and gave the young side its only loss. Jouons Premier took the lead in the first half with a goal from Fabio Andrade, who made good on a scramble in front of the goal. Brothers United equalized in the second half when Kunle "Maga" Akinfeleye drove his corner kick to the top of the box to find Kunley Banjo who headed it into the goal. With the match tied in regulation, the two teams went to penalty rounds to decide the outcome. The first four rounds went into the net and Brothers United made good on their fifth try. Keeper Ricardo Diaz secured the cup when his dive to his left allowed him to catch the ball and make the final save. Brothers United is the third champion of this four year old competition that has been dedicated to former MSSA Vice President Darwin "Lefty" Morton. Lefty could always be found on a soccer pitch somewhere in our state each and every Sunday.

The Stewart Cup has the last four standing with Academy FC meeting up against ASA Charm City. Charm City drew 2:2 against Dulles Sportsplex Aegean Hawks and advance on penalties 5:4. The other semifinal has Yinz United, victor in a one-nil shutout with Catonsville FC Orange, facing Christos FC who went through after beating up on Kamikaze Crew 7:3. The semifinals will be played Wednesday evening, 16 March at Long Reach HS and Howard HS.

Our final competition of the season kicks off on Sunday, 20 March with the Maryland Over-30 Cup. Christos FC O-30 takes on Mandos Ramos while ASA Charm City FC look to defend their title against Catonsville FC. Both matches will be played at Montgomery Blair HS.

The winners of the Rowland, Stewart and Maryland Over-30 Cups advance to the Region I qualifiers.

Christos & Charm City in Double Finals
Tonight for Stewart Title

Then the two sides vie for the Maryland Over-30 Cup. (23 March) When it comes to meeting in a final, these two clubs are not strangers to each other. The Maryland Major Soccer League featured the two in the Fall Premier League championship last December with Christos FC edging ASA Charm City 3:2. Now both clubs will face each other in our last two finals of this cup season.

Charm City earned their ticket to the Stewart Cup final after defeating Academy FC 4:2. For Christos, their semifinal match went to extra time against Yinz United. These two played each other in the Rowland Cup championship game with Christos winning by a goal. After ninety minutes, the two were drawn at two goals each. Christos scored in the first extra time period and outlasted Yinz to reach the title match. Charm City and Christos play tonight at Howard High School at 8:00. The winner will advance to the Region I qualifier for the USASA Amateur Cup.

The two clubs also have their Over-30 teams in the final of the Maryland Over-30 Cup. Christos got a goal from Machel Millwood five minutes into the first extra time period in a hard fought 1:0 victory against Mando Ramos. Pat Crawford led Charm City with a brace while Chad Musiel and Tony Taminini made the score sheet in a 4:0 shutout over Catonsville FC. The title match is set for 3 April at Banner Field in Locust Point to see who represents the state in Regionals for the Gerhard Mengel Over-30 Cup. 

Maryland Double for Christos
Club Adds Stewart Title along with Rowland

Chance for the treble lies next with the Maryland Over-30 Cup. (24 March) These two have gone head-to-head twice in title games this season. The first was last December for the Fall Premier League championship in the Maryland Major Soccer League. Last night, it was the Stewart Cup with Christos FC taking the reigns once again with a 2:0 defeat of ASA Charm City. Christos completes the Maryland Cup double after winning the Rowland Cup last month. It will represent the state in Region I qualifiers in both the US Amateur Cup and the Werner Fricker Open Cup. The Stewart Cup is Maryland's Amateur competition first played in 1932.

The first half was an even nil-nil affair with both sides attacking the goals but the defenses holding their opponents at bay. Pete Caringi changed that in the second half as his 60th minute strike hit the net for Christos. Elton Joe sealed the cup with the second goal at the 85th. Christos will meet Jersey Shore Boca of New Jersey on 3 April in their first round US Amateur Cup tie. They then travel to Buffalo to take on FC Yemen of Western New York in the quarterfinals of the Werner Fricker Open Cup on the 10th.

Christos will attempt to make it a rare Maryland treble as its Over-30 team takes on that of Charm City for the Maryland Over-30 Cup. That match will be played on 3 April at Banner Field in Locust Point for the right to compete for the Gerhard Mengel Over-30 Cup.

Christos Aim for Region Double
Open & Amateur Titles on the Line

After historic Maryland treble, club will play in two finals. (11 June) After lifting the Rowland, Stewart & Maryland Over-30 Cups this past season, Christos FC looks to do the same in Region I finals of the Werner Fricker Open Cup and the US Amateur Cup. Both title matches will take place on Sunday, 19 June at the Ukrainian American Sports Center in Horsham, Pennsylvania. (check USASA Region I site).

Christos reached the final of the Werner Fricker Open Cup by traveling to Buffalo and defeating FC Yemen of Western New York 3:0 in the quarterfinal. Randy Rowe, Pete Caringi & Elton Joe provided the goals for the afternoon. In the semifinal, it was played near Philadelphia in a hard fought 2:1 victory with goals from Caringi and Andrew Hoxie over Phoenix SC of Eastern Pennsylvania. Their opponent for the final will be FC Motown of New Jersey. The match will kick off at 11:00.

The US Amateur Cup journey for Christos was a little longer starting with a first round encounter against the Jersey Shore Boca in Brick, New Jersey. Elton Joe & Chris Weaver provided the fire power in the 2:1 win. The quarterfinal was at home against the Dulles Cannons of Metro DC/Virginia. After finishing the first half 1:1, Christos went on a 6-goal rampage to advance to the semifinal 7:1. The semifinal opponent was Phoenix SC, this time on their own turf. Christos edged through 3:2 with a brace by Joe and the winner from Zach Bowman. Lansdowne Bhoys of Eastern New York stand in their way for the cup that will be played at 4:00.

The treble was not in the cards for the Gerhard Mengel Over-30 Cup. Christos met their common Eastern Penn opponent Phoenix SC once again, who took this quarterfinal clash 2:1 at their place. Phoenix reached the regional final where they meet up against Safira Soccer of Massachusetts.

National Double is the Goal
Christos Compete for Werner Fricker & US Amateur Cups

A Maryland treble, Region I double, now shooting for two national championships. (27 July) The silverware collection has been pretty good for Christos FC this season. Last fall, the club won the Premier League of the Maryland Major Soccer League. This past winter in the MSSA cups, they took the Rowland (Open), Stewart (Amateur) & Maryland Over-30 Cups to complete a Maryland treble. On a Sunday in June, Christos played two match finals to win the Werner Fricker Cup and the US Amateur Cup to take the Region I titles. Now they look to do the same and bring home to the state both national championships.

This Saturday, Christos will meet Obilic Legends of Illinois of Region II for the Werner Fricker Cup. The match is at 7:00 at Troy Park in Elkridge. Christos defeated FC Motown of New Jersey 7:2 in the Region I final to get to the national title game. Pete Caringi struck 7 minutes in and added another three while Elton Joe, Andrew Hoxie and Chris Weaver provided the other goals. Obilic won the Region II Tournament of Champions to advance to the final. The cup is named after Werner Fricker, past President of US Soccer and crowns the national champion in the open competition among amateur sides.

Christos will travel to Milwaukee to compete in the US Amateur Cup on 5 & 6 August. It earned the trip with a hard fought 1:0 victory over Lansdowne Bhoys of Eastern New York in the Region I title match. Elton Joe punched in the game winner a few minutes into the match and Phil Saunders came up with big saves to preserve the shutout. Christos face off against Moreno Valley FC of Southern California (Region IV) while the evening match on Friday will feature host Bavarian SC of Wisconsin (Region II) against Legends FC of North Texas (Region III). The third place and final will take place on Saturday.

We are looking for a big crowd on Saturday night. Troy Park is located at 6500 Mansion Lane, Elkridge (off the exit on MD-100 & US Rte 1). Come out and support Christos in their run for a historic double.

Christos Takes One National Title
Werner Fricker Cup Returns to Maryland

National double in sight with Amateur Cup this weekend. (3 Aug) It was a trying weekend as Maryland hosted its first national open cup final since 1940. Back then, Baltimore SC played a two-legged final against Sparta Fallstaff of Illinois for the National Challenge Cup (later renamed the US Open Cup). The first match played in early May ended in a nil-nil draw. A week later, the two played to a 2:2 result in Chicago. The teams could not agree to a third match and for years US Soccer had no winner for that season until they later decided to make both co-champions.

The Werner Fricker Cup, named after the former President of US Soccer, recognizes the top side in the open competition among amateur clubs. The Baltimore Colts (2002) and more recently the Maryland Bays (2014) lifted the cup. Saturday night, Maryland hosted the final between Christos FC of the Maryland Major Soccer League and Obilic Legends of Illinois, the Region II champion. Like 1940, the chance of a co-winner came awfully close as a torrential rain storm with lightning and thunder called off the match. Fortunately, the two teams were able to get together on Sunday morning and have the final played.

Danny Baxter got Christos off to a very quick start with a blast from a Chris Ports pass in the first minute of action. Obilic drew it even in the 24th with a goal from Cole Galloway. Alex Bulington put away what turned out to be the eventual game winner in the 32nd minute and Christos went into the half with a one goal edge. Pete Caringi got Christos off to another quick start with his goal a minute into the second half. The next fifteen minutes they piled on five more goals. Caringi tallied the final goal in the 83rd to make the final result 8:1. Caringi earned a hattrick with Baxter getting a brace and goals also coming from Ports and Joe Glos. The Werner Fricker Cup was presented among a crowd of about 170 many who withstood the downpour from the evening before.

This has been an amazing season for Christos, winning the Premier League of the Maryland Major Soccer League last fall and adding the Maryland treble in the MSSA cups as they took the Rowland (Open), Stewart (Amateur) & Maryland Over-30 Cups. This spring, the completed a Region I double with the Werner Fricker Cup and the US Amateur Cup. They are two games from making it a national double. It will not be easy as they first have to play Moreno Valley FC of Southern California (Region IV) this Friday in Milwaukee in the semifinal of the US Amateur Cup. The other semifinal features host Bavarian SC of Wisconsin (Region II) against Legends FC of North Texas (Region III). The third place and final will take place on Saturday.

Congratulations to Christos and good luck in the Amateur Cup finals. Thanks to the supporters who represented the Maryland soccer community in full force both Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Christos Complete National Double
Amateur Cup Added to Werner Fricker Cup

Team keeps a clean sheet at Amateur Cup finals. (9 Aug) In what has been a trophy filled season for Christos FC, they topped it with a shutout in the title match against Bavarian SC despite playing most of the game a man short. From winning the Premier League of the Maryland Major Soccer League last fall to the Maryland treble in the MSSA cups with the Rowland (Open), Stewart (Amateur) & Maryland Over-30 Cups to lifting the Region I double with the Werner Fricker Cup and the US Amateur Cup, Christos repeated the latter two competitions at the national level. The club earned a three peat winning the Gerhard Mengel Cup (Over-30 national championship) in 2012, 2013 & 2014 and added to their trophy collection by bringing to Maryland the national titles in the open and amateur categories. It is the second club along with the St. Petersburg Kickers of Florida to win all three national titles.

The Amateur Cup Finals took place in Milwaukee on the grounds of the Bavarian Soccer Complex. Christos faced Moreno Valley FC of Southern California (Region IV) in the first semifinal. The match appeared to be heading into a scoreless draw until Pete Caringi took a pass from Andrew Hoxie to break the deadlock in the 80th minute. Hoxie made another assist five minutes later as Levi Houapeu sealed the 2:0 victory. The second semifinal featured Legends FC of North Texas (Region III) against host Bavarian SC of Wisconsin (Region II). The Legends scored within the first five minutes and doubled their lead midway through the half with a penalty. The match was coming to a close and it appeared the side from Dallas would play Christos for the championship. In a remarkable comeback, the Bavarians scored in the 86th and then scored their own penalty three minutes later to put the game into extra time. After a scoreless thirty minutes, the Bavarians advanced on penalties.

The final started with both clubs attacking the goals but unable to hit the net. In the 26th minute, Elton Joe was shown a red card for a harsh tackle. Christos were forced to play the hosts a man short. The defense held their own with a barrage of shots coming from the Bavarians but nevertheless Christos continued to attack. Neither could get get a goal and the match went into extra time. Seven minutes in, Karou Forbess broke through the Bavarians penalty area and snuck the ball past their keeper to put Christos up. A minute later, Hoxie sent a long ball from midfield that Chris Panian chased down to double the score. Phil Saunders with a good deal of help from his teammates kept the Bavarians at bay to earn his second shutout of the weekend.

Christos FC earned the national cup double winning the Werner Fricker Cup, the national amateur open competition, and the US Amateur Cup. The last side to achieve that double was the Bavarian SC in 2003. It is a distinct recognition that is shared only by five clubs including Ponta Delgada SC of Massachusetts (1947), German Hungarians SC of New York (1951) and Kutis SC of Missouri (1957).

The Bavarians SC were not only worthy opponents but great hosts over the weekend. Their supporters were in the hundreds for both nights and provided a special atmosphere for the cup finals. We thank them on a job well done.




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