The NJ Cup has kicked off with a few teams opting to go with very early season games, which can be considered risky business. You never truly know what you are going to get out of your team in the beginning of March, and quality training, fitness, and team motivation typically become key factors in the contest. This weekend in particular a lot of New Jersey teams will put these abilities to the test in what really is a 1-and-done format, because who really wants to “win the loser’s bracket.” Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that the NJ Cup offers this option, as a true 1-and-done tournament could cost an excess of $200 dollars for a single game, and if that game is a 7-0 loss to a top club in the state, then what did you really just pay for???
The NJ Cup is a lot of fun though, and seeing the bracket format generates an added interest in the game from the perspective of coaches and parents, but primarily the players. What I am hoping this weekly article does is intensify that relationship. I am looking for comments in the form of great goals, great teams, great players, and great games from you! Pictures and videos are always welcome. I will cover the tournament the best I can, but the best way to cover a state-wide tournament of this magnitude is through a soccer community which I am just beginning to build at njtravelsoccerblog.com. Let’s share our NJ Cup stories through this platform and together we can create a special soccer experience for all involved.
Many of the first round games are scheduled (well done team managers), and below I have highlighted some potential contests that could come down to the wire. If you think your game deserves some recognition, shout it out in the comment section, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Always check out the NJ Cup Brackets in Full Here. Of course Best of Luck to all teams in action this weekend!
Games This Weekend
U11B 8v8: Marlton Lightning Red @ Home vs. Harrison SC Force. Under the lights in Marlton this Friday night. GotSoccer’s 15th and 16th ranked teams from South Jersey face off in what is bound to be a great game.
U12B 8v8: Real New Jersey Spurs @ Home vs. Verona United SC Red Devils. Real New Jersey highly ranked from Medford takes on a team from Verona that should not be slept on with an impressive 16-1-5 record in GS competitions.
U14B Premier: Jersey United Spartans Pre-ASL @ Home to Bridgewater Panthers. Another Friday night lights game with two experienced and quality teams with a chance to play Roxbury Avalanche in the next game and gain home field advantage down the stretch.
U16B Premier: Arsenal Maximus Black @ Home vs. Sportika Speed. This is a second round game because both teams have byes, so it means an early trip to the round of 16.
U17B Super: Jersey United Spartans ASL @ Home vs. RYSA Wildcats Green. Two teams compete for the right to match up against the Stronghold Falcons (GS 6) in round two.
U11G 8v8: SJEB Red @ Home vs. Cherry Hill FC Thunder. Two strong South Jersey programs go head to head in a first round game at the Sod Farm in Tuckahoe.
U12G 11v11: The Best Collection of Games of the Bunch!
- Vorhees Extreme (GS3) Hosts West Deptford Select
- Marlboro Spirit @ Home vs. East Brunswick Strikers
- SJEB 03 West @ Sod Farm vs. GPS South (Two top 30 teams!)
U14G Super: Real NJSC Sounders (GS 6) vs. Monroe Township SC NJM Elite. A win gets GS 3 SJEB 01 in the second round. Monroe may look like an underdog, but have a fantastic 26-5-7 record in GS rated contests.
U15G Premier: B’Elite Player Development Chaos Hosts Parsippany EDP. This one is interesting because it is two familiar foes. They are local teams that scrimmage often and will be a good competition because of it.