On Wednesday, July 5th, two teams met for the Championship match of the 2017 Barry Strube Challenge Cup. This game was the culmination of the inaugural Challenge Cup as organized by the United Soccer League of Pennsylvania. As you may have read in the fall, this season The League welcomed back the “Reserve” division in the form of the Major II Division. The number of Clubs which were able to participate in the Major-Reserve setup were limited however, and reserve squads were looking to add more games to the schedule. As a result, the Board of Directors of The League devised the Challenge Cup as a way to add meaningful matches to the schedule and allow Teams to fill their schedules. Any Major or Major II teams were able to participate in the Challenge Cup as long as they could agree with an opponent on a time and location. The rules allowed for crossover matches between the divisions and required a minimum of 3 qualifying matches to be played for a team to be eligible for the Championship.
At the end of the season, the German Hungarians II were first in the standings with Phoenix II just behind so the historic Clubs faced off in front of a mixed crowd. The game got off to a flat start with players just back from their Independence Day vacations and would stay scoreless through the first half. The German Hungarians would turn up the pressure in the second half as Austin Kotch scored two goals and John Gravelle sealed the win with a late third for a final score of 3-0. Both teams and supporters gathered at midfield as Barry Strube presented The Cup to Captain Robbie Stewart!
Werner Fricker III