There was yet another outstanding day of soccer played, as eight teams and two filler teams spent a hot and sunny afternoon raising funds in Camden NJ. The event, sponsored by the Sons of Ben, yet again allowed both clubs to have a little extra cash to keep their programs running.
With only eight teams competing this year, both a Camden coaches and Kensington coaches team took part, so that the teams playing could get a rest between games, leaving two groups of five teams. In group 1, the Camden coaches team signed up to be "easily beaten" by Moroccans, Colombia (a team made up of ex-Kensington players who had grown out of their program), MMB, a team that was captained by the Brotherly Game's Matt Ralph and Bearfight FC - the local amateur team which was started by a group of Philadelphia Union supporters.
In a very competitive group, MMB couldn't stick around for the knockout stages, so the Camden team took their place in the next round. Colombia won the group, the Morroccans took second, and in third came Bearfight FC.
In the second group, last years winners Prestige Worldwide were back for a repeat, and were up against the only team who have played every year, Blue Dream from Trenton. Ballers FC and Yo Harv FC made up the rest of the group which the Kensington coaches and volunteers joined.
Prestige Worldwide showed no reason to think they wouldn't repeat, as they won the group. In second place were Blue Dream, in third were Ballers FC and in 4th place were Yo Harv FC.
That left the quarter final lineups being Prestige Worldwide against the Camden coaches team, just to make sure Prestige had to play against a team if nothing else. Blue Dream went up against Bearfight FC, Ballers FC played the Moroccans, and in the last game Yo Harv played against Colombia.
As expected, the Camden team didn't give Prestige anything to worry about, as the former champs won easily. Blue Dream finally got through to a semi final, as they took care of Bearfight FC. The Colombian team were winners against Yo Harv, and perhaps the closest quarter final was with the Moroccan team and Baller FC. In a game that included refereeing controversy (who said MLS refs had a monopoly on contentious decisions), the Moroccans also made the semi-final stage. The importance of the quarter-final wins is that the four semi-final winners qualified for the 3v3 national finals at Disney. Hopefully one off them will be able to attend this year and represent the tournament.
The semi finals had Colombians vs the Moroccans in a "national team" semi, and Blue Dream vs Prestige Worldwide and it was the two group winners who made it to the final. In a final that was much closer than many would have thought, Prestige Worldwide still won but a plucky performance from the Kensington players should be applauded. They are some fantastic players who have came through at Kensington, and it is exactly the kind of thing that the tournament is set up to raise funds for. It was even one of the Kensington players who got top scorer in the tournament, as Anderson Pino scored more than any other player.
The fun is over for another year, but both Camden and Kensington have started their fall seasons. They are always looking for sponsorship, donations and coaching help so if you would like to get in touch with either club:
Also, there were a few items that people left behind, and I have them at home. If you want to claim them, give me an email at email@example.com and we can work out how to get it to you (the cat is not included............. or is he?)
Lastly, keep an eye out for future events at either club. Your help at these tournaments are what keeps the clubs running, hopefully next year there isn't a need for Filler teams. Thanks again to everyone who took part, and thanks in particular to the Sons of Ben who were sponsors of the event.