This past weekend, EDP Soccer hosted the first part of its popular EDP Cup Fall, annually ranked the top event in the nation by GotSoccer. The weekend featured 9U-16U boys teams from MLS Academies, USYS National League Conferences, MLS NEXT, EDP, ECNL, and the Elite Academy League creating a best vs. best experience. Games were played at Iron Peak Sports & Events in Hillsborough, NJ and at Tuckahoe Turf Farms in Hammonton.
The EDP Cup is the first event that had games played on the Bermuda Grass section of the turf farm. The 14U and 13U Platinum brackets were some of the groups that got a chance to play on these fantastic fields. The Bermuda Grass from Tuckahoe Turf Farm is being used all around the country by professional teams, and now youth teams in New Jersey are getting the chance to play on it first, before it is used in stadiums.
EDP followed strict health and safety protocols, and continued the use of the innovative scheduling. The schedule format included back-to-back game times that provided for important social distancing protocols and the ability for tournament operations staff to properly sanitize as needed between groups leaving and entering the facility. EDP Soccer also continued the use of its new field layout for the weekend, which created extra space between fields to ensure teams and spectators have the ability to distance themselves. To limit commingling of participants, all home teams and their supporters were positioned on one side of the field and away teams and their supporters on the other side. In addition, home teams stay on the same field for both of their games as this technique reduces the need for team movement across the facility.
“I will always bring my teams to one of the best competitions and organized tournaments in the country. Hats off to the staff again for pulling it off in this difficult time.”
— Rich Ludwig, Nationals (MI) Head Coach
“This was a great event for us to attend. It was an opportunity for us to have our younger teams play against the best teams in the region, and also a chance for us to be able to see many of the top players in the age group at one great venue.”
— Paul Nash, Philadelphia Union Academy Head Coach
EDP Cup Fall continues next weekend at Tuckahoe Turf Farms with the 9U-16U girls.
A Look At The Weekend’s Results
In the Gold bracket Cedar Stars Academy Bergen Pre-Academy 2012 and Real Jersey FC 2012 faced off in the final. Cedar Stars Academy defeated The Football Academy NJ 2-1 in their first game Sunday to reach the final, and Real Jersey defeated a very strong Lower Merion side 5-2 on Sunday to claim their spot. In the final, the teams went back and forth, but Cedar Stars Academy Bergen was able to find the lone goal on a free kick by captain Benny Fernandez, and win 1-0 in a battle between two of New Jersey’s best teams.
In the Gold bracket, The Football Academy NJ 2011 Black reached the final after winning all three of their games in group play, defeating Real Jersey FC 2011, Cedar Stars Academy Monmouth and PDA Puyol. In the final, they faced off against Cedar Stars Academy Bergen Pre-Academy 2011, who was also unbeaten through group play. The final saw some excellent soccer, with The Football Academy NJ edging Cedar Stars Academy Bergen on a last minute Wells Kasserman goal for the 3-2 win.
In the Platinum bracket, Nationals Oakland 2010 Black, the top ranked in Michigan advanced to the final after defeating Cedar Stars Academy Bergen Pre-Academy, New York Red Bulls Pre-Academy NJ South, and PDA Gerrard in the group stage. The final saw them match up against The Football Academy NJ 2010 Black, who after tying Lehigh Valley United 2010 Black in their first game, they defeated Holmdel FC NJX Monaco and beat New York Red Bulls Pre-Academy NJ North in a thrilling 7-5 game to win their group. In the final, Nationals Oakland athleticism and technical ability were too much to handle, and they came away with a 3-0 victory behind goals from Alex Ogden, Nico Churco, and Jacob Copeland and a clean sheet by goalkeeper Tyler Arpachinda who was excellent all weekend.
In the Platinum bracket, all teams in the bracket came into Sunday with 1 win and 1 loss, creating a very exciting final day of the tournament. On Sunday, in group A NJ Premier FC 2009 and FC Bucks Wolfe drew 0-0, Cedar Stars Academy Bergen Pre-Academy 2009 was able to claim a spot in the final with a win over Real Jersey FC 2009. In group B, PDA Pre-MLS 2009 and STA 2009 Pre-ECNL played to a 2-2 draw, so Lehigh Valley United 2009 Black made the final by defeating Philadelphia Union JR Academy 2010 2-1. In the final, it was another extremely close game, with Cedar Stars Academy Bergen Pre-Academy 2009 defeating Lehigh Valley United 2009 Black 1-0 behind a goal from forward Vova Chernikov, and big saves from goalkeeper Aidan Betances who kept his third clean sheet of the tournament.
In the Platinum bracket, Nationals Union 08 Black won all four of their games to finish top of the group, with Torpedoes SC Red coming in second place with two wins, a loss and a draw. Nationals, ranked #1 in the Midwest Region, started the tournament with a 2-1 win over PSA National, followed up by a big win over STA 2008 ECNL. On Sunday, they followed up the performance with a 2-0 win over Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals 08 Black, and closed out the event with a 3-1 win over Lower Merion SC Thunder to claim first place.
In the Platinum bracket, MLS NEXT side Real Jersey FC 07 avenged their 2019 NJYS State Cup Semi Finals loss to the nations #1 ranked teams, SC Vistula Garfield Lewandowski on their way to a first place finish. The two sides faced off in the first game, with Real Jersey FC winning 2-1, with Real Jersey then defeating NJ Premier FC to go into Sunday with two wins. Real Jersey FC defeated PDA Hibernian Scholes and Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals 07 Black on Sunday to finish the event undefeated. Marlboro SA 2007 Gunner Blue finished second place in the group, with 2-1 wins over Philadelphia Ukraininan Nationals and PDA Hibernian Scholes, and 1-1 draws against STA 2007 ECNL and NJ Premier FC 2007.
In the Gold bracket, the two topped ranked teams in Pennsylvania faced off in an exciting final. Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals 06 Black and FC Europa 06 Elite both came into Sunday’s final unbeaten with 3 wins. In the final, it was FC Europa who proved why they are ranked #1 in the state, with the 2-0 win.