NJTravelSoccerBlog.com’s popular series continues with a look at the U13 Boys opening round NJ Cup games. This bracket has had a one game go off already with an exciting finish and many (hopefully/weather) to be played this weekend. We even covered the game between Match Fit Barcelona and Pasco Rebels (read about it here) that went into over time and penalties to be decided. Our goal is to follow the tournament all season long and promote great games, teams, players, and coaches. We encourage our readers to post comments in the reply section at the bottom of the page to keep up with all the action as well as follow us on Facebook, WordPress, and Twitter!
NJ Cup – Early Analysis – U13 Boys 2004
There are two groups at this age group, the premier and super groups with different deadlines, but we are highlighting the first round games in each. The deadline for round 1 in the Premier Group is March 20th and the Super Group is April 17th. So this is what we are referring to as “first round”games.
Super Group Premier Group
Real Jersey FC 2004 Middletown Lightning Red
Rutgers SA Fire Princeton FC Benfica
Watchung Hills NJ Elite Cobras Valenica 04
STA MUSC 2004 NPL FC Copa Academy Black South
1st Round Matchups to Watch
SDFC 2004 Yellow vs. Bridgewater SA Arsenal – You could probably choose any of the 7 – 1st round games in the Super Group to highlight, but this one stood out on paper. Two top 15 current GS ranked teams square off with hopes of being a part of the final 8 teams with hopes of heading to Nationals. SDFC won the NJ Cup Premier group at U12 11v11 last May, so they have been here and done that. They also just came out of a powerhouse group at the Manhattan SC classic which means they will be well prepared for this game (yet to be scheduled). Bridgewater Arsenal comes from a large municipality club, that pumps out consistently competitive boys groups. They are coming off a crazy successful Fall campaign with 2 trophies and 2 semi-finalist tags in 4 tournaments. Too add to the drama, these two met this past Fall in the NJYS National Championship series with Bridgewater moving on from the quarterfinals.
Marlton SC Lightning Red vs. Mainland United Matrix SA – This is a South Jersey battle – East vs. West and one of the better games of the first round. Marlton had a tremendous stretch of raising the Champions trophy last May-August to put them on the map (4 titles in a row). They also competed in EDP Flight 1 East this Fall where coincidentally Mainland played as well. These two teams squared off way back in early September, (Marlton on top 2-0), as their first game in league play, so things can be very different this time around. The NJ Cup matchup again will be a 50 mile trek up the AC expressway, but will undoubtedly be one of the games to keep an eye on this weekend (3/12).
Tinton Falls Jersey Shore FC Thunder vs. Howell United SC – Another clash of township clubs that don’t always get recognition, but absolutely should. The team from Tinton Falls has a lot of games under their belt. Tinton Falls circa 2014 (51 GS recognized) which means they are well seasoned, and probably play with continuity. Looking at their GotSoccer history, they are a winning team with 7 out of 9 events ending with blue words in the “placed” catagory. Howell is another big municipality that pumps out quality teams and competes in high level tournaments year round. United scores 2 plus goals a game, so they will find a way to make the game competitive regardless of the past success of TF. These teams also competed in the same EDP Flight in the Fall which TF won and Howell finished a close 3rd. In their matchup in early October, Tinton Falls outplayed Howell, but 5 months later, and in early NJ Cup game in cold weather could change the outcome completely.
Not So Local Rivalry
*Typically this is where I highlight two clubs that are close by and most likely familiar with one another via club, team, players and families, but instead I am going in the opposite direction with 2 teams that are quite some distance apart – showing the travel and dedication in teams to commit to this Statewide event.
Toms River Independent Gunners vs. Hoboken City Red 04/05–
On a good day this is a 80 minute – 70 plus mile drive down the GSP. Had this been in June/July – forgetaboutit. Hoboken City is a new club with little GS history to go on, and will be traveling a significant distance to down the shore line to meet a vastly experienced team that competed in 6 GotSoccer recognized events this Fall. Anything can happen on game day, but these teams need to find a date to play fast with the 3/20 deadline looming.
- Only 15 teams were brave enough for the Super Group
- Compared to 57 teams in the Premier Group
- Real Jersey FC received the lone bye (deserved) to the Round of 8 in the Super Group – means just 1 win and they are traveling to Finals weekend in North Brunswick.
- 7 Teams received a free pass to round 2 in the Premier Group
- 10 games are set to be played this weekend (3/11 and 3/12) –
and should have a backup date in mind with typical NJ March weather on the way.
- Curiously we already had a forfeit in the Premier Group – where Jersey Shore Boca conceded the first round to Verona United (I wonder why?)
- NJ Stallions (3), Match Fit (2), and FC Copa (2) have all sent multiple teams into the Premier Bracket – would be interesting to see them meet in the Finals.
- A link to the Super Group U13B Bracket
- A link to the Premier Group U13B Bracket