Connecticut United Over-50 SC
|Left to right:
Back Row: Tom "The Turk" Karasay, Jazzmi, Rod Kunha,
John Macky, Val Kovelenko, John Rudovich, Greg Aimi, Jimmy Hawk, Chip Doubleday, Nick Mongillo, Gigi Garofano (Manager
Front Row: Rafael Zribi, Mike
Howard, Ray Lubis, Mark, Joe Carlos, Pedro DeBrito, Nito Leite, Chris Mills, Mitch Greene, Voitek
|Tournament Report for Connecticut United Over-50 SC, playing in the Over-50 Division,
by Greg Aimi
CT UNITED Three-Peats as Over-50 National Veteranís Cup Champions
Contributed by Greg AimióJuly 2011
(Seventh from left on the back row, wearing the
CT United, managed by Luigi Garafano, again headed to the USASA National Veteranís
Cup in search of their 3rd straight National Title in the Over-50 Division, having won in 2009 and 2010 in Massachusetts.
This year the tournament was held from JUL-06 Ė JUL-10 in Sanford, FL just north of Orlando smack in the middle
of the Florida summer heat and humidity.
As always, the tournament begins with group play and CT United drew Group B and faced a 90 minute FIFA match each
day, Wed., Thu., and Fri. with semi-finals and finals on Sat. and Sun. should team advance.
The group matches went as follows:
Wed. JUL-06 CT UNITED 5 Old Knights (Florida) 0
Thu. JUL-07 CT UNITED 3 50Somethings (Florida) 0
Fri. JUL-08 CT UNITED 4 Radnor FC (Pennsylvania) 1
MASS FC (Massachusetts) won Group A with 21 points advancing to semi-finals as #3 seed.
CT United won group B with 29 points and advances to semi-finals as #2 seed.
Urban Chestnuts/Kutis St. Louis (Missouri) won Group C also achieving 29 points but advanced to semi-finals as
top seed on higher goal differential.
Finally, Real Lyold (North Carolina) advanced as the wild card best overall 2nd place finisher as the #4 seed.
CT United and MASS FC played the semi-final on Sat. in the late afternoon heat and ended a hard fought back and
forth match 0-0 in regulation. Continuing on with the 2x15 OT halves, the score remained 0-0 until the 116th minute,
when CT United netted the winner and finished an exciting match 1-0 (OT) to advance to the Final on Sunday.
In the other semi-final match, Real Lyold (NC) carried a 1 goal lead to an eventual upset of the stronger and favored
Urban Chestnuts/Kutis St. Louis (MO). Real Lyold advances to Final with 1-0 regulation win.
Opening kickoff on Sunday at 11am, the over-50 Final was going to be sure to please however, nature had other ideas
in mind. CT United dominated play with well over 75% possession and having two shots bound off the posts and one
just missing off the crossbar. A goal appeared imminent at any point however the game progressed to half time
locked at 0-0. The same domination continued into the 2nd half with more unanswered attacks on the Real Lyold
end of the pitch. With 30 minutes left in the match, the field officials sounded alarms as impending lightning
and thunderstorms had fallen directly upon the area. Players and fans took safe cover and awaited return to the
field. As nature would have it though, the return to finish the final was abandoned as the storms were only intensifying
and projected to last several hours. The Cup Commissioner decided to award both teams as Co-Champions Menís Over-50
ďAfter fighting it out all week to get through to the semi-finals, then winning dramatically in overtime to advance
to the final, co-champions feels a bit like kissing your sisterĒ was the statement most heard from the CT United
players. Although not in as grand a style as all would have wanted, nevertheless CT United repeats for the 3rd
straight time as O-50 National Veteranís Cup Champs!!!
|Many thanks to Greg for the photograph and report!