It was the weekend before school started and the last long weekend of the summer no less. Most kids were at a cottage, camping, or doing something else to try and squeeze the last bit of summer out before it was too late. However, for roughly 400 elite soccer players, they had something else in mind. They wanted to dominate the 2018 BioSteel Canada Cup. Teams from ages U9-U12 wanted to make a statement heading into next year and teams from ages U13-U14 wanted to win the whole thing.
The 2018 BioSteel Canada Cup was a massive success and fun had by all, but in case you missed it, here is a brief synopsis of the weekend.
Day 1-September 1st, 2018 (Round Robin Play)
The day started off rather ominous. A thick and blanketing fog hung over the Downsview park fields, dampening anything it touched. This fog would have made play difficult but almost as it was waiting for kickoff, the fog dissipated.
All teams were involved in play on this day and there was no shortage of heartbreak and resounding victories. For teams playing in the festival format, they had to strike quickly and hold any lead they had, because they would not get another chance. For teams in the tournament format, there was more room for error, but even that was slim. Each team knew that they needed to play all out and get the win.
To keep fans and players engaged at the tournament between games, a number of multi-sport activities were available to keep players sharp and keep fans having a great time. There was a mini soccer game courtesy of EZNet, there was a massive hockey shooter inflatable courtesy of the Brampton Beast and there was also an inflatable football target game where players could test their accuracy with their arm rather than their leg.
In addition to all the sport-related aspects of the festival grounds, there was also a Fitz athletic testing booth where players could test their vertical jumps compared to professional athletes, they could diagnose issues in their natural gait that leads to injury and they could also learn valuable strategies to help prevent injury in the future.
If after all that, players and fans wanted something to eat or drink, there were 4 food vendors on site with a wide variety of options as well as a Kona Shaved Ice vendor to keep people cool.
Players and fans were also treated to a visit from the best Canadian Soccer Player of all time; Dwayne De Rosario. He was on site for the day taking pictures, signing autographs and supporting teams from the DERO United Academy.
Day 2-September 2nd, 2018 (Quarter and Semi Finals)
With the festival aspect of the BioSteel Canada Cup completed, it was time for the teams serious about winning to rise to the top and announce themselves as contenders. Players fought through a number of close finishes and rain at times but by the end of the day, the finals were set and elite Ontario soccer was well represented.
Day 3-September 3rd, 2018 (Finals)
It was finally here, after playing all weekend, six teams earned their opportunity to become the 2018 BioSteel Canada Cup champion in their division.
Final 1-U13- Dero United v. Erin Mills FC
The first final of the day at the new Ontario Soccer Centre venue was incredibly well fought by both teams. Each team had an opportunity to strike early and often but ultimately Dero United prevailed to become the U13 Champions.
Final 2-U16-BioSteel Canadian Selects v. Toronto FC Academy
This final featured highly skilled players from the Toronto FC Academy and the BioSteel Canadian Selects. This game was also televised on CHCH. It was a fantastic game all-round and magical plays were made on both ends of the field but in the end, The Toronto FC Academy would come out victorious.
Final 3-U14-One Touch Soccer Academy v. Epic FC
To make it into this final game, Epic FC had an incredibly difficult path. In their two games before the final, they won on penalty kicks. Once achieving victory with a goal scored, once with a critical miss by opponents. They were emotionally drained from the excitement of their previous games, but they came into the final game expecting a win. One Touch Academy struck first, but then Epic FC answered in the second half. Once again Epic FC was involved in another win or go home penalty kick scenario. It went back and forth for a long time, but ultimately, Epic FC would fall and One Touch Soccer Academy would be named the 2018 U14 BioSteel Canada Cup Champion.
BioSteel Canada Cup Wrapped Up
The weekend for many of the teams ended in disappointment, they were not able to achieve the goal they set out for, however, for some, it the event was exactly what they needed to solidify their season. This was just not limited to the teams that won the tournament, one pivotal win or even one a win in a critical play could have been enough to set a team down a path of confidence and success in soccer. The 2018 BioSteel Canada Cup was a fantastic way to cap of the summer and it was soccer done right.
See you next year! If you are starving for more soccer head over to cafsoccer.com and register for the CAF indoor season!