Team USA (Under 19) of the Region 1 Olympic Development Program wins gold.
continued While the standard of football was high on the pitch, the annual tournament also continued its tradition for cross-cultural relations off the field. Song, dance, fun, new friendships and learning about other cultures were just some of the experiences for the women footballers over the past fortnight.
Emma and Eva competed in five matches opening up with a game vs. Russia U19 national team with a 1-0 win. They went on to win four of their games on penalty kicks to advance. Most notably, they tied the Women’s full national team from Iran.
Eva who started and played a winger forward made quite an impression will her skill throughout the tournament as she earned recognition on the 2013 Kuban All-Tournament team and the entire tournament MVP award, an incredible honor.
Emma, starting center midfielder had two goals and three assists in the tournament, while taking four penalty kicks and scoring each to help the team advance in four matches. Emma scored a goal, an assist and a penalty kick in the championship match USA vs. Ukraine and was voted MVP of the championship match.
Out of 12 teams, 267 players spanning three different continents, it is such an honor to have two of our very own Central New York players make such an impact internationally. International Coaches and teams could be heard chanting “Emma, Emma!,” “Eva, Eva!” throughout the tournament and final match.
The girls have made so many friends from players and coaches from other countries. Emma and Eva’s Facebook and email accounts are full with new friends from across the globe who they have bonded with. They communicate with the help of “Google Translate” to help with messaging between different languages. It has been an experience of a lifetime and one they will cherish for a long time.