“A New Standard is Set,” by Gabe Dwyer

This past Memorial Day the United German Hungarian Majors and a team of superfans traveled to Akron Ohio to compete in the US National Donauschwaben Tournament. As a player this was my fourth time competing in this tournament, but it was one of the first that we were able to bring a true representation of our Major Team. After two poor showings in Ohio in 2017 and 2019, the group was determined to bring home a cup.

In game 1, we battled a local favorite, Cleveland Concordia. Both teams were strong throughout and the first match ended in a 0:0 draw. After a quick rest we went on to face the host club, Akron GFS. Deadlocked at 0:0 for most of the game, it was beginning to feel like another draw. But late in the match, captain, Ken Tomczuk, struck a ball from just outside box that beat the Akron keeper and had a little help from the post on its way into the net. The Majors went on to defeat the hosts 1:0. In the third game of the day, we faced Detroit Carpathia for the Schock Cup, a cup that goes to the winner every time U.G.H. plays Detroit. Tired legs after two games led to a pretty conservative game. However, late in the game, once again, Ken Tomczuk put in the winning goal from a corner that bounced around in the box a bit and ended up coming to him at the back post. At the end of day one, the German Hungarians had two wins, a tie, and didn’t allow a goal.

After a good night in Akron’s clubhouse and team bonding in the hotel lobby, it was time to play Sunday morning. Sunday’s first game was with Mansfield Liederkranz, and the team was rocking. The game ended 2:0, another win, another shutout. Every game we played, we got better. After three wins, one tie, and no goals conceded, we had still not locked up a spot in the final. We needed a tie or a win against the defending champions, Milwaukee Sport Club, to advance. Milwaukee had a big, physical, and talented group but with great performances from U.G.H. midfielders Matt Sullivan and Joe Hansen, attackers Devon Memis and Jason Rocha, and the U.G.H. back line, the match ended 3:0 in favor of U.G.H. We were through to the final against Cleveland Concordia.

The finals similar to first match against them. Both teams had chances, and both teams played well. 50 minutes of regulation and 10 minutes of overtime was not enough to crown a champion. Both teams lined up for PKs. Shot 1…both goal keepers make a save. Shot 2…U.G.H. off the bar, Cleveland’s shot is saved. Shot 3…both goals. Shot 4…both goals. Shot 5 U.G.H. with a goal. With the championship on the line, U.G.H. goalkeeper, James Brett, dives to his right and reaching his left hand over his head makes an incredible save to win the championship. The team rushes from midfield and the superfans storm the field. It was electric.

After a legendary night of celebrations it was time for the long bus ride home, but bringing that cup back to Philadelphia made the bus ride more than bearable.

As a player whose family has been part of U.G.H. for about 70 years, it is a great honor to play for the team and to play in competitions like the US National Donauschwaben tournament. The team would like to extend a special thank you to Werner Fricker III and Jay Karasow for everything you do for our team and our club. We would also like to say thank you to our Super Fans. It is because of people like you that these things are possible and that these traditions continue. After 6 games, 5 wins, 1 tie, no goals allowed, 3 PK saves, the U.G.H. Majors are Donauschwaben Champions, and without a doubt we will be on a mission to defend it next summer and live up to the new standard that we set a few weeks ago.

Gabe Dwyer

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