Miami Soccer 7s completed another successful staging of a Soccer 7s America Cup tournament at the Soccer Town in Pembroke Pines on Sunday March 22nd.
Following the attractiveness and keen competition of their earlier Champion Porsche Soccer 7 Cup in January, the organizers were able to attract four representative teams from Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia and Brazil this time around. Click here for Photo Gallery
The tournament was played on a round-robin format with some gripping end to end action eventually leading to the grand final between Argentina and Colombia.
All the teams participating were outfitted with the official Champion Porsche uniforms to contest the tournament.The Colombians were the most impressive team in the earlier phase of the tournament but the Argentines proved to be too hot to handle in the final and prevailed 2-0 winners to take home the $3,000 First Prize and the Soccer 7 America Cup sponsored by Champion Porsche. Matias Solari and captain Henrique Rezek were the goalscorers for the Argentines.
Argentina captain Rezek was ecstatic with his team’s winning performance, describing it as the highlight of the year for them so far.
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“We’re really happy to have come here and won the Soccer 7 America Cup. This is my second time playing in the tournament organized by Miami Soccer 7s and everything went perfect for us today. We knew it would be tough because all the teams were quite good and everyone wanted to win the first prize,” Rezek said.
“But we came out on top because we had a plan for our opponents and we did what we needed to. Overall I thought the tournament was enjoyable and well organized. We got everything we expected. I will definitely be here again for the next Miami Soccer 7s tournament,” he added.
“I think it’s great that the organizers have thought about this and are doing all the work to make sure the teams and the players have something to play for. I enjoyed it and I think all the guys had a great time. Unfortunately for us we lost in the final but everything else was quite good,” the former University of South Florida player said.Colombian midfielder Stieven Salinas was one of the more impressive players during the tournament and he stated the competition was a good avenue for players like himself to showcase their skills.
Attending the finals this year was former Trinidad and Tobago forward Stern John. The now retired international player has a prolific record for Columbus Crew in the American Major League Soccer (MLS). John is Trinidad and Tobago all-time leading scorer with 70 goals in 115 caps and is also the 7th highest international goalscorer according to the list of Top international association football goal scorers by country, behind Pelé, Ferenc Puskás and Ali Daei. He is also the all-time top CONCACAF goal scorer.
With the Crew, he proved to be one of the most prolific scorers in league history.
John led the MLS league with 26 goals (and also with 57 points to be named the MLS Scoring Champion) in 1998. He was named to the MLS Best XI that year as well, and tied for the lead with 18 goals in 1999.
On Sunday he presented the Cup to the Argentina captain and later expressed his feelings on the display of soccer in the competition.
“I think the best team won today and deservedly so because all the teams had something good in them. I saw a lot of good skill and a high level of competition and good football in each of the matches,” John said.
“I think this version of the game is definitely taking off and hopefully it will continue to grow with the way Miami Soccer 7s is pushing it here in Florida and then in other parts of the United States.”
John will spearhead the Trinidad and Tobago Soccer 7s Academy in his home country from April and he believes there is a definite market out there for it.
“With the Academy for the kids here in Miami you can see the kids are having fun every time they step onto the field and this is what we will introduce in Trinidad as well. We love to play small sided football but more importantly it will help us to develop the short passing game and quick awareness and intensity level of the younger players which will eventually prepare them better for when they have to play the other countries later on in their careers in CONCACAF, especially the Central American teams who are champions at high intensity and short passing soccer,” John added.
Miami Soccer 7s will continue their academy sessions every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and future tournaments for adults are being organized for selective dates in 2015.
Argentina 1 vs Brazil 0
Uruguay 0 vs Colombia1
Brazil 2 vs Uruguay 0
Argentina 2 vs Colombia 2
Brazil 0 vs Colombia 1
Argentina 3 vs Uruguay 0
Argentina 2 vs Colombia 0