Without a doubt, the inaugural Space Coast Cup youth soccer tournament was quite a hit.
More than 100 teams from around the state took part in the two-day tournament put on by the Space Coast United Soccer Club, with games being played in several locations, including Wickham Park and Viera Regional Park.
Scott Armstrong, the SCU Executive Director of Coaching, said it was great to see all the Junior Division teams (children aged 14 and younger) competing in Brevard County.
“Kids this age love to play and compete -- they are fun to watch,” Armstrong said in a statement provided by the club. “Overall, we feel the tournament was a huge success. We plan to make this an annual event and hopefully add more Space Coast United SC held events as we grow and improve our club at all levels of play, from our 2-year-olds to our 19-year-old players.
“We are striving to have something for everyone with a love of the sport.”
Five SCU teams made the finals in their respective age groups, including the boys U14 division, where the championship game featured the Space Coast United 07 Boys White 1 team against the Space Coast United 07 Boys Red team.
The red team took the title 3-0, capping off a weekend that saw 18 players combine to win all four games they played.
“The boys had a fun weekend winning the Space Coast Cup comfortably,” SC Junior Division Director Dean Flexton said in a statement.
“Every player worked hard and the team collectively showed their quality by wining every game without conceding a goal all weekend. Very pleasing to see. It was also great for the club that the final was contested by two SCU teams … a great advert for the quality of Space Coast SC.”
One of the best moments of the tournament came in the semifinals, when the white team defeated Miami FC U14 Orange in a penalty kick shoot-out and players from both the red and white teams swarmed keeper Lucas Evans in celebration.
Here’s a look at the other three finals involving SCU teams:
The Space Coast United 08 Girls Red team found itself in a shootout against Florida Elite, but it didn’t go SCU’s way. Still, head coach Joey Messina was pleased with the way his team performed throughout the weekend.
“I’m lucky to be part of this motivated group,” Messina said in a statement. “Seeing them compete in the games was a fantastic experience. What the players were able to do this weekend individually and collectively was a reflection of their effort and commitment.
“The effort was great from everyone, including the opposition.”
The Space Coast United 08 Boys Red team, led by keeper Michael Arbour, did not allow a goal in winning two games and tying one in group play on the way to the championship game.
But Anjus Jupiter – the team SCU tied earlier – came away with a 2-0 victory in the title matchup.
“The boys had a great weekend,” Flexton said. “The entire squad worked very hard and were very unlucky not to win the final. Despite not getting the result everyone would have liked in the final, I’m very pleased with the attitude, desire and work rate every player showed during the Space Coast Cup.”
Talk about a budding rivalry.
The Space Coast United 09 Boys Red team faced Florida Elite for the fourth time in 2020. The teams were 1-1-1 coming into Sunday’s final with Florida Elite coming away with a win in their most recent meeting in the title game of the Alliance Cup.
This time, however, it was SCU that came away with the 4-2 victory.
“Over this weekend’s first annual Space Coast Cup, the boys definitely set the bar for the remainder of the year,” SCU coach Nic Nazon said in a statement.
“They played with great heart, courage and what I’m most impressed with, great maturity in the toughest of times and conditions. They persevered, followed through, and stayed together as a team.
“I love working with this group and wish them all the best going forward.”