By Jay Mwamba
CSL giants New York Greek Americans returned from Salt Lake City a triumphant lot after holding off Guadalajara FC of Denver 4-2 to clinch the USASA Men’s Amateur National Cup.
Scripted by Tyler Botte, Josh Trott, Gabrielle Adriano and Stephen Roche, the victory was the four-time US Open Cup winners’ first ever in that competition in three consecutive attempts. It ended their 40-year wait for a national title.
US Open winners in 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1974, Greek Americans came up short in the USASA Final Four in 2012 and last year.
“It was not easy,” first year head coach Stavros Zomopoulos commented after the historic win. “The pitch had extra long plush grass that was ‘the great equalizer,’ neutralizing our ability to play football at the standard and pace we are accustomed to. And the altitude and heat made playing back-to-back very challenging.”
Peter Strumpf, president of the CSL, arguably America’s most competitive amateur league, offered kudos to the all-conquering Greeks.
“We as a league are proud to have one of our club’s win a national championship. It has been a while,” he remarked. “For a club to get to this point, requires a lot of work and support [mostly financial] from club members. We congratulate the Greek Americans for this accomplishment. We also have the hope, that this will not be the last time a club from our league reaches that pinnacle.”