Three Finals Done - Two to Go
2021 Cup Season Coming to a Close
Maryland Over-40 trophy next piece of hardware to give out. (12 April) We completed three of our finals this past week with two new champions making the Maryland record books. We have one more to play this week with the Maryland Over-40 Cup and the last final at the end of the month for the Stewart Cup. A few of our teams took part Region I qualifiers and a few more will play this weekend.
The Maryland Over-30 Cup kicked off our group of finals as Christos FC returned as champions after three years with a 4:0 defeat of Fighting BOBs/Yinz Legends O30. Joe Mangione's 22nd minute goal turned out to be the game winneras Jon Ports, Cesar Ramos and Matteo Vertucci guaranteed the trophy with second half goals. This made it the 8th time Christos lifted the Maryland Over-30 Cup.
Sunday featured a final doubleheader at Marriotts Ridge High School in what turned out to be two entertaining conclusions. The Morton Cup field consisted of the eight teams that were eliminated in the first round of the Rowland Cup. Three rounds of group play, two semifinals, the remaining two sides were Dream Team FC and Frederick Spires FC. The Spires jumped took the lead before the half and doubled it in the second. Dream Team made an inspiring comeback, tying it before putting away the game winner with less than 5 minutes in the match. This was the 9th edition of the Morton Cup, named after Darwin "Lefty" Morton, with Dream Team becoming the 8th champion.
The Rowland Cup is familiar territory for Christos FC who first lifted the trophy in 2000. It is Maryland's Open Championship and one of the oldest running competitions in the country, first established in 1914. In a tough battle between Christos and Columbia FC where neither side was giving an inch, Jamie Merriam gave Christos the lead right before the half from an assist from Jake Bender. A penalty call in the 65th surely would have guaranteed Christos their 7th Rowland title but keeper Johnny Paletar came up with a big save. Ten minutes later, Jeremy Shugars put in a thundering header from a corner kick from Taylor Gray to draw it even. The match went into penalty rounds with Columbia starting off and making good on all five of their kicks to become Maryland's newest Rowland Cup champion. Both teams will enter the USASA Region I qualifiers of the Werner Fricker Cup with Columbia hosting Clifton Elite of New Jersey at Western Regional at 4:00 Sunday. Christos heads out to Warminster, Pennsylvania to meet their NESL foe Vereinigung Erzgebirge.
Next in line is the Maryland Over-40 Cup final between Christos and the Baltimore Kickers at Marriotts Ridge High School Wednesday evening, 7:45. Both will play in the Region qualifiers for the National Over-40 Cup in what turn out to be a Mason-Dixon derby against Eastern Pennsylvania foes. The Kickers travel Sunday to Fort Washington, Pennsyvania to face West Chester United. Christos will host Vereinigung Erzgebirge at Western Regional at 2:00.
Along with several Region I qualifiers, we conclude our Maryland season with the Stewart Cup on 25 April. Christos and All Star United will battle it out for Maryland's Amateur Championship.
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