What a weekend!
We didn’t have all of our Premier players at our disposal. We lost 4 players to injury-related concerns in the final week before heading to the tournament. And none of that mattered. We went out to Las Vegas for the 2016 Silver Mug Tournament and fought hard, created memories, and represented ourselves and our city in the highest manner possible.
We won three games, lost one, and finished second in round robin group play. Since the tournament is set up to only allow group winners to advance, we missed out on qualifying for the Quarterfinal round (previous editions of the Silver Mug had a round of 16 knockout round).
The first game of the tournament was a wide open affair with box to box action. Game 2 was a tightly contested midfield battle decided in the final five minutes with the opposition finding a late winner. Game three was similarly tight and hectic battle which we won by forfeit. Game four was where we put everything together that we learned all weekend. Albeit the other team looked exhausted, we kept the ball on the floor, moved it quickly, changed the point of attack frequently and rapidly, didn’t cede possession easily, and finished in and around the box. It was a rewarding end to the tournament.
Off the field, we were responsible enough to handle the rigors of Vegas while at the same time enjoying ourselves and created memories and bonds in the process. It’s hard to overemphasize the importance of spending personal time with teammates in tournaments such as these. You get to get to know each other as people and create shared memories together. In an tournament as intense and rife with potential pitfalls (tight living quarters, multiple games on quick turnarounds, the trip’s financial burden, and the top level of competition), we showed our character by building a meaningful weekend together. The bonds we’ve created will make us stronger going forward.
We’ve got much to play for in the days and weeks ahead including the Spring League Championship, State Cup, Fall, and US Open Cup Qualifying. And our recent trip to Vegas has created a springboard of experience and momentum for the challenges ahead.