For the 21st year, many of the state's top adult soccer players – young and older – will converge on the Madison area for Madison United's President's Cup tournament Saturday and Sunday.
"Every good player that I know in Milwaukee is coming over to play in the President's Cup," said Tommy Markovic, the general manager for defending Men's Over-30 champion FC Tipsy. "There's always certain weekends that you circle on your calendar when it comes to adult soccer, and the President's Cup is one of them."
All four champions from last year's event are among the 84 teams playing in this year's event – Cosmos FC (Men's Open), Ten (Women's Open) and FC Gherkin (Men's Over-38) joining FC Tipsy in looking to claim back-to-back titles at what is believed to be the Midwest's largest indoor tournament.
Play kicks off at 8 a.m. Saturday at BreakAway Sports Center in Madison and 9:30 a.m. at Keva Sports Center in Middleton, with the opening day's final matches set to start at 6:30 p.m. – each team will play two group games on Saturday.
Action begins at both locations at 8 a.m. Sunday with one final pool match for each team, followed by playoffs in all four divisions. The finals are scheduled for 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Keva.
Madison United founder Keith Binns, the schedule coordinator for the men's divisions, said the event was full by Dec. 15 – the earliest the field has been filled. In 2012, the event included a record 88 teams, but tournament committee favors the current size.
"We decided that 84 is the optimal number. We're not going to try for any more," Binns said. "One year we had 88 and we kind of stretched things a little bit, started at 7:30 Saturday morning, but we decided that, no, 84 fits."
While many teams will be familiar names – Madison United, Forest City (Ill.) and Bares United will extend their streaks of playing in every President's Cup – there is at least one big absence. Chichitas, which won seven consecutive Women's Open titles and eight in a nine-year stretch between 2003 and '11, isn't entered this year.
Tournament director Jamie Brud, who oversees the 24-team Women's Open division, said that several of the players who were part of those Chichitas teams are expected to play on other teams this weekend – including new entry Badgerland Supply.
The Men's Over-30 competition again looks to be getting stronger each year.
Keeper Goals, which has won five President's Cup titles, is back after sitting out last year – they claimed the crown in their most recent appearance in 2012. Bottoms Academy also is part of the 16-team field; the team made the playoffs in the Men's Open last year. "I would imagine that would make them pretty tough," Binns said.
FC Tipsy, which features mainly players from Milwaukee-area club Croatian Eagles, plays in the same league with Keeper Goals and fellow entry Internationals.
"We seem to get more Milwaukee teams each year," Binns noted.
At least two of the newcomers in the 32-team Men's Open field are from the Milwaukee area: Dehydrated United, a team made up of several recent UW-Milwaukee, Marquette and UW-Green Bay players, and the Red Dogs, whose roster is expected to include several members of the Milwaukee Sport Club side that plays in the Wisconsin Soccer Leagues Major Division.
Chicago-area club Wings sent their Under-23 team to the President's Cup last year and didn't get out of group play; this year, they've entered two teams, including their top squad. And the tournament once again is an international affair, as Sleeping Giant FC from Thunder Bay, Ontario, is fielding a team in the Men's Open. Two other newcomers are Carleton (Minn.) and Team Northwoods, from the Green Bay area.
Binns acknowledged that he doesn't know much about those teams – "The only name we get is the guy who registers them. We try to check it out," he said – which sometimes can make group placements and scheduling a challenge.
"You try not to cram too many good teams into one division," Binns said. "Last year, talk about a Group of Death. We had Cosmos, Madison Fire and Milwaukee Sport Club all in the same group. But Sport Club called themselves Zizou, and Cosmos, we didn't know who they were – and we wound up with three really good teams in the same group."
Cosmos FC ended up winning the group and went on to beat the Fire in the final, keeping the local side from becoming the first team to win three consecutive Men's Open titles at the tournament. The Fire have two teams entered in the Men's Open division this year, with the Madison Fire Juniors joining the original side.
There are two rules changes for this year's tournament.
Essentially, field players aren't allowed to slide tackle – the only exceptions are to score a goal or to keep a shot out, and those are only allowed if there isn't an opposing player in the vicinity. Goalkeepers can slide, but only in their own penalty area.
And if any playoff matches are tied after the 25-minute game and a sudden-death, 5-minute overtime, the penalty kicks to determine the advancing team will be taken from the top of the D – roughly 11 yards from the goal, compared the penalty spot of 8 yards. Penalties during matches still will be taken from the penalty spot.
Defending champion: Cosmos (defeated Madison Fire 2-0 in final)
Sunday's playoff schedule: Round of 16 - (Game 21) Lincoln 1st vs. Adams 2nd, 1 p.m. K1; (Game 22) Adams 1st vs. Lincoln 2nd, 1 p.m. K2; (Game 23) Jackson 1st vs. Jefferson 2nd, 1:30 p.m. K1; (Game 24) Jefferson 1st vs. Jackson 2nd, 1:30 p.m. K2; (Game 25) Tyler 1st vs. Monroe 2nd, 2 p.m. K1; (Game 26) Monroe 1st vs. Tyler 2nd, 2 p.m. K2; (Game 27) Madison 1st vs. Washington 2nd, 2:30 p.m. K1; (Game 28) Washington 1st vs. Madison 2nd, 2:30 P.M. K2. Quarterfinal 1 - Game 21 winner vs. Game 23 winner, 4 p.m. K1; Quarterfinal 2 - Game 22 winner vs. Game 24 winner, 4 p.m. K2; Quarterfinal 3 - Game 25 winner vs. Game 27 winner, 4:30 p.m. K1; Quarterfinal 4 - Game 26 winner vs. Game 28 winner, 4:30 p.m. K2. Semifinals - Quarterfinal 1 winner vs. Quarterfinal 3 winner, 5:30 p.m. K1; Quarterfinal 2 winner vs. Quarterfinal 4 winner, 5:30 p.m. K2. Final - Semifinal winners, 7 p.m. K2.
|8:30 a.m.||BreakAway 2||Madison Fire||vs.||Velociraptors|
|9 a.m.||BreakAway 1||The Dinos||vs.||Madison Fire Juniors|
|9:30 a.m.||BreakAway 1||Madison United Tigers||vs.||Galloping Ghosts|
|9:30 a.m.||BreakAway 2||Paradigm FC||vs.||Hamms Premium|
|10 a.m.||BreakAway 1||Cosmos FC||vs.||Oshkosh Gold|
|10 a.m.||BreakAway 2||Racine||vs.||Sleeping Giant FC|
|10:30 a.m.||BreakAway 1||Dehydrated United||vs.||Wings Red|
|10:30 a.m.||BreakAway 2||Croatian Eagles 1||vs.||UWO Alumni|
|11 a.m.||BreakAway 1||Wings Black||vs.||Carleton|
|11 a.m.||BreakAway 2||Croatian Eagles 2||vs.||UD Alumni|
|11:30 a.m.||BreakAway 1||La Resistance||vs.||Red Dogs|
|11:30 a.m.||BreakAway 2||SNC Alumni||vs.||Fox in the Box|
|Noon||BreakAway 1||Fire SC||vs.||Red Rock|
|12:30 p.m.||BreakAway 1||QC Iowa||vs.||Team Northwoods|
|12:30 p.m.||BreakAway 2||Madison United Lions||vs.||FC Magic|
|1 p.m.||Keva 1||Cosmos FC||vs.||Paradigm FC|
|1 p.m.||Keva 2||Sleeping Giant FC||vs.||Galloping Ghosts|
|1:30 p.m.||Keva 1||Hamms Premium||vs.||Oshkosh Gold|
|1:30 p.m.||Keva 2||Croatian Eagles 1||vs.||Wings Black|
|2 p.m.||Keva 1||The Dinos||vs.||Dehydrated United|
|2 p.m.||Keva 2||Madison United Tigers||vs.||Racine|
|2:30 p.m.||Keva 1||Madison Fire Juniors||vs.||Wings Red|
|2:30 p.m.||Keva 2||UWO Alumni||vs.||Carleton|
|3 p.m.||Keva 1||Madison Fire||vs.||Bavarians|
|3 p.m.||Keva 2||Croatian Eagles 2||vs.||La Resistance|
|3:30 p.m.||Keva 1||Loras||vs.||Velociraptors|
|3:30 p.m.||Keva 2||UD Alumni||vs.||Red Dogs|
|4 p.m.||Keva 1||SNC Alumni||vs.||Fire SC|
|4 p.m.||Keva 2||Madison United Lions||vs.||QC Iowa|
|4:30 p.m.||Keva 1||Red Rock||vs.||Fox in the Box|
|4:30 p.m.||Keva 2||FC Magic||vs.||Team Northwoods|
|8 a.m.||BreakAway 1||SNC Alumni||vs.||Red Rock|
|8 a.m.||BreakAway 2||Fire SC||vs.||Fox in the Box|
|8:30 a.m.||BreakAway 1||Madison United Lions||vs.||Team Northwoods|
|8:30 a.m.||BreakAway 2||QC Iowa||vs.||FC Magic|
|9 a.m.||BreakAway 1||Croatian Eagles 2||vs.||Red Dogs|
|9 a.m.||BreakAway 2||La Resistance||vs.||UD Alumni|
|9:30 a.m.||BreakAway 1||Croatian Eagles 1||vs.||Carleton|
|9:30 a.m.||BreakAway 2||Wings Black||vs.||UWO Alumni|
|10 a.m.||BreakAway 1||Madison Fire||vs.||Loras|
|10 a.m.||BreakAway 2||Bavarians||vs.||Velociraptors|
|10:30 a.m.||BreakAway 1||Madison United Tigers||vs.||Sleeping Giant FC|
|10:30 a.m.||BreakAway 2||Racine||vs.||Galloping Ghosts|
|11 a.m.||BreakAway 1||The Dinos||vs.||Wings Red|
|11 a.m.||BreakAway 2||Dehydrated United||vs.||Madison Fire Juniors|
|11:30 a.m.||Keva 1||Cosmos FC||vs.||Hamms Premium|
|11:30 a.m.||Keva 2||Paradigm FC||vs.||Oshkosh Gold|
Defending champion: Ten (defeated Megna Financial 4-3 in final)
Sunday's playoff schedule: Wild card matches - Four games, 12:00 and 12:30 p.m. K1-2. Quarterfinal 1, 3 p.m. K1; Quarterfinal 2, 3 p.m. K2; Quarterfinal 3, 3:30 p.m. K1; Quarterfinal 4, 3:30 p.m. K2. Semifinals - Quarterfinal 1 winner vs. Quarterfinal 3 winner, 5 p.m. K1; Quarterfinal 2 winner vs. Quarterfinal 4 winner, 5 p.m. K2. Final - Semifinal winners, 6 p.m. K1.
|9:30 a.m.||Keva 1||UWW Alumni||vs.||Antique Tap|
|9:30 a.m.||Keva 2||Madison United||vs.||UWO Alumni|
|10 a.m.||Keva 1||Duhawks Alumni||vs.||Peanut Gallery|
|10 a.m.||Keva 2||Velocity||vs.||Megna Financial|
|11 a.m.||Keva 1||Evolution||vs.||Badgerland Supply|
|11 a.m.||Keva 2||Duhawks||vs.||Kicking and Screaming|
|11:30 a.m.||Keva 1||Oshkosh Black||vs.||Valley Magic|
|11:30 a.m.||Keva 2||FC Barrington||vs.||Oshkosh Gold|
|Noon||Keva 1||Ten||vs.||OGT Strikers|
|Noon||Keva 2||99 Problems||vs.||UW-Eau Claire|
|12:30 p.m.||Keva 1||WSC Majors United||vs.||Old P'Cocks|
|12:30 p.m.||Keva 2||Team Box Fan||vs.||UW-La Crosse|
|3 p.m.||BreakAway 1||Oshkosh Gold||vs.||Antique Tap|
|3 p.m.||BreakAway 2||FC Barrington||vs.||UWW Alumni|
|3:30 p.m.||BreakAway 1||Badgerland Supply||vs.||Duhawks|
|3:30 p.m.||BreakAway 2||Kicking and Screaming||vs.||Evolution|
|4 p.m.||BreakAway 1||Megna Financial||vs.||Valley Magic|
|4 p.m.||BreakAway 2||Velocity||vs.||Oshkosh Black|
|4:30 p.m.||BreakAway 1||99 Problems||vs.||Ten|
|4:30 p.m.||BreakAway 2||OGT Strikers||vs.||UW-Eau Claire|
|5 p.m.||BreakAway 1||Peanut Gallery||vs.||Old P'Cocks|
|5 p.m.||BreakAway 2||WSC Majors United||vs.||Duhawks Alumni|
|5:30 p.m.||BreakAway 1||Madison United||vs.||Team Box Fan|
|5:30 p.m.||BreakAway 2||UWO Alumni||vs.||UW-La Crosse|
|8 a.m.||Keva 1||Team Box Fan||vs.||UWO Alumni|
|8 a.m.||Keva 2||Evolution||vs.||Duhawks|
|8:30 a.m.||Keva 1||UW-Eau Claire||vs.||Ten|
|8:30 a.m.||Keva 2||99 Problems||vs.||OGT Strikers|
|9 a.m.||Keva 1||Old P'Cocks||vs.||Duhawks Alumni|
|9 a.m.||Keva 2||Peanut Gallery||vs.||WSC Majors United|
|9:30 a.m.||Keva 1||Antique Tap||vs.||FC Barrington|
|9:30 a.m.||Keva 2||UWW Alumni||vs.||Oshkosh Gold|
|10 a.m.||Keva 1||Valley Magic||vs.||Velocity|
|10 a.m.||Keva 2||Oshkosh Black||vs.||Megna Financial|
|10:30 a.m.||Keva 1||Badgerland Supply||vs.||Kicking and Screaming|
|10:30 a.m.||Keva 2||UW-La Crosse||vs.||Madison United|
Defending champion: FC Tipsy (defeated Smoky's Blue Rockets 6-1 in final)
Sunday's playoff schedule: Quarterfinal 1 - Reagan 1st vs. Ford 2nd, 3 p.m. B1; Quarterfinal 2 - Clinton 1st vs. Roosevelt 2, 3 p.m. B2; Quarterfinal 3 - Roosevelt 1 vs. Clinton 2nd, 3:30 p.m. B1; Quarterfinal 4 - Ford 1st vs. Reagan 2nd, 3:30 p.m. B2. Semifinals - Quarterfinal 1 winner vs. Quarterfinal 3 winner, 4:30 p.m. B1; Quarterfinal 2 winner vs. Quarterfinal 4 winner, 4:30 p.m. B2. Final - Semifinal winners, 6:30 p.m. K2.
|8 a.m.||BreakAway 1||Pro Roofing||vs.||Chivas|
|8 a.m.||BreakAway 2||Madison United||vs.||Smoky's Blue Rockets|
|8:30 a.m.||BreakAway 1||Madison Fire||vs.||Vilas Rangers|
|9 a.m.||BreakAway 2||Milwaukee Brewers FC||vs.||Smoky's Red Rockets|
|1 p.m.||BreakAway 1||FC Tipsy||vs.||Bottoms Academy|
|1 p.m.||BreakAway 2||St. Charles Celtics||vs.||Rock Vegas|
|1:30 p.m.||BreakAway 1||Mota FC||vs.||Keeper Goals|
|1:30 p.m.||BreakAway 2||Beer FC||vs.||Internationals|
|5 p.m.||Keva 1||Chivas||vs.||Bottoms Academy|
|5 p.m.||Keva 2||Milwaukee Brewers FC||vs.||St. Charles Celtics|
|5:30 p.m.||Keva 1||Pro Roofing||vs.||FC Tipsy|
|5:30 p.m.||Keva 2||Smoky's Red Rockets||vs.||Rock Vegas|
|6 p.m.||Keva 1||Smoky's Blue Rockets||vs.||Mota FC|
|6 p.m.||Keva 2||Madison United||vs.||Keeper Goals|
|6:30 p.m.||Keva 1||Madison Fire||vs.||Beer FC|
|6:30 p.m.||Keva 2||Vilas Rangers||vs.||Internationals|
|11:30 a.m.||BreakAway 1||Smoky's Blue Rockets||vs.||Keeper Goals|
|11:30 a.m.||BreakAway 2||Mota FC||vs.||Madison United|
|Noon||BreakAway 1||Milwaukee Brewers FC||vs.||Rock Vegas|
|Noon||BreakAway 2||Smoky's Red Rockets||vs.||St. Charles Celtics|
|1:30 p.m.||BreakAway 1||Pro Roofing||vs.||Bottoms Academy|
|1:30 p.m.||BreakAway 2||Chivas||vs.||FC Tipsy|
|2 p.m.||BreakAway 1||Madison Fire||vs.||Internationals|
|2 p.m.||BreakAway 2||Vilas Rangers||vs.||Beer FC|
Defending champion: FC Gherkin (defeated Diablos in final)
Sunday's playoff schedule: Wild card 1 - Eisenhower 1st vs. Carter 2nd, 2:30 p.m. B1; Wild card 2 - Bush 2nd vs. Eisenhower 2nd, 2:30 p.m. B2. Semifinals - Carter 1st vs. Wild card 2 winner, 4 p.m. B1; Bush 1st vs. Wild card 1 winner, 4 p.m. B2. Final - Semifinal winners, 6 p.m. K2.
|9 a.m.||Keva 1||Albanian Eagles||vs.||Hooligans|
|9 a.m.||Keva 2||Diablos||vs.||Bares United|
|10:30 a.m.||Keva 1||Forest City Kickers||vs.||Phoenix FC|
|10:30 a.m.||Keva 2||Celtics||vs.||FC Gherkin|
|2 p.m.||BreakAway 1||Bavarians||vs.||Euro FC|
|2 p.m.||BreakAway 2||Madison United||vs.||St. Charles Celtics|
|2:30 p.m.||BreakAway 1||Bares United||vs.||Celtics|
|2:30 p.m.||BreakAway 2||Diablos||vs.||FC Gherkin|
|6 p.m.||BreakAway 1||Albanian Eagles||vs.||Forest City Kickers|
|6 p.m.||BreakAway 2||St. Charles Celtics||vs.||Milwaukee Bavarians|
|6:30 p.m.||BreakAway 1||Madison United||vs.||Euro FC|
|6:30 p.m.||BreakAway 2||Hooligans||vs.||Phoenix FC|
|11 a.m.||Keva 1||St. Charles Celtics||vs.||Euro FC|
|11 a.m.||Keva 2||Madison United||vs.||Milwaukee Bavarians|
|12:30 p.m.||BreakAway 1||Albanian Eagles||vs.||Phoenix FC|
|12:30 p.m.||BreakAway 2||Hooligans||vs.||Forest City Kickers|
|1 p.m.||BreakAway 1||Diablos||vs.||Celtics|
|1 p.m.||BreakAway 2||FC Gherkin||vs.||Bares United|