Matansa Football Club topped two of the five divisions in the Saipan Soccer School-organized President’s Cup held last Saturday at the Hopwood Middle School Field.
Matansa ruled the co-ed U8 and U10 age groups and was joined on the champions’ circle by MP United Football Club (U12B), Kanoa Football Club-1 (U12A), and TanHoldings (U14Boys/U15Girls).
In the U8 division, Matansa clinched the title in the double-elimination competition after shutting down TanHoldings FC, 6-0. Matansa also defeated Kanoa and Southern United FC in the previous games.
In the U10 division, Matansa also had a lopsided win after blanking MP United, 5-0. Southern United and Kanoa were the two other teams entered in the division, which featured 10 matches.
In the U12B category, there were only eight games with MP United prevailing in the last one against Shirley’s Football Club, 3-2, to rule the five-team field. TanHoldings, Kanoa, and Southern United also played in the division.
The U12A also had a close result for its last game with Kanoa-1 nipping TanHoldings FC-1, 1-0. Ten matches took place in the division with TanHoldings-2, MP United, Matansa, and Kanoa-2 battling TanHoldings-1 and Kanoa-1 for the championship.
In the U14B/U15G, which drew the most teams (nine), Tanholdings was the last squad left standing after slipping past Kanoa-1 in the penalty shootout, 2-1. Southern United, Paire, Shirley’s FC, MP United-1 and 2, Kanoa-2, and Matansa were the other squads that played in the division.
All the champion teams received trophies, while medals were given to each player from the division winners. Trophies were also handed to Fair Play Award winners Kanoa (U8 and U10), TanHoldings (U12B), MP United (U12A), and Shirley’s FC (U14B/U15G).
For the individual awards, Kristopher Pascual of MP United got the Golden Glove plum in the U12A division, while Kanoa’s Merrick Toves earned the same trophy in the U14B/U15G. For the Golden Boot award, the winners were Matansa’s Alex Magsino and Kanoa’s Daniel Mar Pablo and Sean Gil of the U12A division and U14/U15G’s Taka Borja of TanHoldings.
The second edition of the President’s Cup was held in celebration of Northern Mariana Islands Football Association president Jerry Tan’s birthday. Tan personally handed the trophies and medals to the winning teams and players.
This year’s President’s Cup drew 30 teams, surpassing the turnout (20) from the inaugural staging of the competition.