Alumni Week Archive
Alumni Day 6
The Final Day of Rush Alumni was one that will be remembered for ages. A great turnout from young and old, combined with a spectacular performance by the Green team, made for quite the day at Foothills. We split up into 4 different teams today. Instead of splitting up randomly, the four teams were divided by age. The teams are as follows:
Orange Team - Team BABA - (17-19 yrs)
Green Team - Team Issa - (20-22 yrs)
Yellow Team - Team JT Howlan - (23-26 yrs)
Blue Team - Team Mikey P - (27-135 yrs)
The day started with Rush CEO Tim Schulz a.k.a. Santa Claus running around the field handing out mints that he may or may not have taken from the Olive Garden the previous night. The first round matchup saw the Blue team paired against the Orange team, and the Yellows against the Greens. With a mere 20 seconds left in the match, and the Greens deadlocked at 0 against the Yellows, the greens called upon Reid "Big Bird" Hukari to save the day. Zander "Bane" Dietz took a corner kick which found the head of Hukari to give Green the late win, and 3 pts. The second round of matches saw excitement on both fields, the Yellow pulled off a buzzer beater against the Blue, thanks to an extraordinary strike from the left foot of Kellen "small" Frye. Orange held the Green to a 1-1 draw. Round 3 matched Orange up against the Yellow team. Collen Warner, JT Howlan, and JT's beard (which is long, flowing, and beautiful) were just too much for the Orange to handle. Yellow took the 3 points, and secured the #1 seed in the semifinals. The other round three matchup pitted the Blue against the Green. Just 3 minutes into the game, goalkeeper Issa "snack-pack" Bissau made a crucial mistake when he threw the ball right to his opponent, Mikey P, just 35 yards from goal. Mikey P showed his age, wisdom, and class, by taking a touch and chipping/humiliating Bissau into the goal. After Green equalized, the game was in the balance until Blue broke through again and took the 2-1 lead with just 3 minutes remaining.
The group stage came to a close and the semi final matchups were set.
#2 Blue vs. #3 Green
#1 Yellow vs. #4 Orange
The semi-finals were full of upsets and redemption. The Yellow team lost to the Orange team led by Orange forwards Baba Bojang, and Lindsey Lohan. This result stunned the 16 fans that were in attendance, as well as the entire soccer community around the world. When asked about the early exit in the semi-finals, JT Howlan had this to say: "Its disappointing. Its a tough loss to swallow. My beard and I came here for a win, and instead we finished in last place."
On the other side, Cameron Bushey (Orange Team) was quoted as saying: "Yeah my voice is very similar to Eriks."
Semifinal #2 was all about redemption for the Green team. Green team midfielder, Morgan Sacco shared this wisdom about the game: "We had just come off a 2-1 loss to the Blue, so we knew what we had to do. They cheat, we know that. They lie, we know that. They steal, we are pretty sure of that. We just have to play our game and get the result."
Green did exactly that. They came out with a vengeance and stunned the Blue team by scoring 3 goals in the opening 7 minutes. This is probably an Alumni week semifinal record. The match ended 3-0 to the Green, sending the Blue team headed back to the retirement home a little early. It was probably the best win ever. Like.... ever.
The finals, contrary to the semifinals, played out exactly how everyone had expected. With a dominating performance from Green. The game was a completely 1 sided affair, with the Green team controlling the possession and the chances. 3 Goals, all for Green, was actually a good result for the Orange, as the final score could have been easily 10-0. When the final whistle blew, Green players and fans alike, erupted into celebration. Hukari, Foxhoven, and the rest of the Green charged into the lacrosse goal in the corner, possibly (probably) breaking it. After throwing Sacco into the air, and accepting the trophy, Alumni week was finally concluded. The players had to sit and pretend to listen to Bushey as he went on a 10 minute rant about something, but after that they shared hugs and handshakes, and went there separate ways. Coach Schulz interviewed the green team post championship:
It was a truly a successful week. The Countdown has begun... Only 365 more days til next years Alumni Week.
Alumni Day 4
Congratulations go out to Josh Belfrage (Rush 88/89) and Colin Clark (Rush 83/84) for winning the very first ever Rush Alumni Week Soccer-Tennis Tournament. A select group of 32 alums making up 16 teams participated in the first ever event of its kind. Teams were drawn at random. Four brackets were formed with bracket play determining seeds for the playoff round. To be fair, some quality soccer and tennis were on display on this day. Great team work could be seen on each of the eight courts being used. Pre-tournament favorite, Mike Piserchio, was paired with one of our youngest alumnus, Sid Otto. Otto led the duo through bracket play but it took until the round of 16 before Piserchio figured out that his right foot was stronger than his left and that his chest did not bare the strength it once did, and that he’d be better to head the ball as opposed to chest it over the net. They bowed out in the elite 8.
With the favorites out of the way, several teams became rejuvenated. Passion and flare were on the cards in most matches. Perhaps the most entertainment came from Team Warner/LaGreca. With Collen Warner coming off his first alumni win in over two years, and Billy LaGreca making his first appearance of this Alumni Week, they were full of energy. The handful of onlookers present saw Billy covering ground like a mad man. One second he was sliding to delicately toe a ball just over the net. The next second Billy was tackling Warner, his own partner, in an attempt to win the ball and get it over the net! Questions were raised as to whether or not Bill really understood the point of the game. But for all in attendance, the entertainment value was high.
On the contrary however, were the games played by Alex Fernandez and Nick Cardenas, who though playing the exact number of games as the other teams, played twice as long. We wouldn’t want to classify them as boring…just tiresome. Credit to them though for making the quarters also. Team Sacco/Bushey (Not that Bushey) were decided underdogs when they faced Team Ridge/That Bushey. But it was the young Bushey who would be the victor on this day and earn the right to play in the quarter-finals and eventually the semi-finals. Team Pack Foxiccolo suffered only one loss prior to the semi-finals (to Team Ridge/That Bushey). The dynamic duo was at the top of their game until their power and personality fell to 14 year old Cameron Dyke. The technique and tactics of Team Dyke/Edwinson (Chris Edwinson, Atlas of Mexico, was special guest today) proved too much for the formidable University of Louisville pair and the upstart guests would make it on to the final to face Team Belf/Clark. Referring to young Cameron Dyke (though not the youngest participant on the day as younger sister Cori Dyke, age 12, also participated and won two games on her way to the round of 16), her current coach, Wes Hart, was almost glistening with pride about his young all-star. That is, until he met her on opposite sides of the net and fell prey to her skill!
Team Hart/Rigo crashed out in the semis and neither would provide a post-match quote (at least none could be heard over their tears). So it was left to the two guests on the day, Team Dyke/Edwinson to face off against Team Belf/Clark. With Miss Dyke fresh off of her ECNL event in Las Vegas and Colin Clark fresh off his MLS finals championship run, one might think the scales might be slightly skewed. But this was not the case as the finals was an exciting battle of technique, agility, tactics and passion with both teams refusing to be outdone. In the end, the talented Rush alums prevailed. Perhaps the fact that young Cameron also trained at the Center program in the morning was her undoing. When asked if she regretted the two-a-day training potentially costing her the title, young Cam replied “this would have been a great title won today, no doubt, but I have to be honest…my goals are bigger, so no, I do not regret the extra training today. Tomorrow I shall work harder.” When Clark was asked whether or not he’d trade this title in for the MLS Cup which Houston Dynamo narrowly missed out on as they fell to Todd Dunivant’s LA Galaxy, Clark responded, “is that some kind of joke?” As Belfrage was caught leaving the indoor center with his trophy, he screamed repeatedly, “sorry losers! I’m outta here! Tell VanDoorninck he can….” Editors note: the rest of this quote cannot be written on this website.
The end of the tournament did not represent the end of the competition however. After the event all were invited to Fowler’s Soccer Trivia at Boomer’s Bar. Team Pack Foxicollo, with the stress and disappointment of the previous soccer-tennis failure, sadly broke up. DelPiccolo partnered up with Biggin’ (Cardenas) while Foxhoven sided with Biggin’ II (Hukari). Where Foxhoven found new life with his new team, DelPiccolo sank even lower and rarely, if ever, answered a question correctly. In the end he was so flustered he could not even remember the back line of his AC Milan heros. “Something Maldini I think his name was?” Paolo uttered. Lindsey Lohan, who spent most of the competition in the losers bracket, didn’t answer too many trivia questions either. She was stumped by the picture trivia and couldn’t recognize the picture of her longtime coach, Tim Schulz. Sorry Schulzy…out of site out of mind. For Linds, this is a what have you done for me lately kind of world.
For all winners Rush Nike gear was handed out as the reward. (Sure to be of great value someday as the club grows as a legend in its new adidas gear.) Stay tuned for day 5!!
ALUMNI DAY 3: KEEL, SACCO, PISERCHIO GET THEIR 2nd WIN
As Day 3 commenced, the Rush were excited to see a few new faces. Some alumni such as Wes Hart, Carlo Cornacchia and Jeb Brovsky were not physically capable of playing 3 days in a row and did not participate. Wes Hart, inactive due to a calf injury sustained while checking his mail, split the group into three teams based on his favorite colors (orange, yellow and blue).
The three teams:
Team Peel (Piserchio & Keel)-Orange
Team Bushéy- Blue
Team Mack- Yellow
Tension was high in the group stages when '89 alumni Nick Cardenas tattooed his stud marks in the calf flesh of PSG forward Lindsey Lohan. Play carried on and it seems all three teams were deadlocked to tie. No single team was able to win 2 games in a row and that insured tense competition as knock out rounds approached.
Team Peel had the upper hand for seeding after winning against Team Bushéy despite an upper 90 rocket from Zack Foxhoven. Foxhoven's goal will surely be a candidate for goal of the week. The semi-final game was most evenly matched between Team Bushéy and Team Mack. An unfortunate goalkeeper error by Baba Bojang saw Team Mack into the finals. A noticeably angered Erik Bushéy was later interviewed discussing his faith in Baba was all but lost after that determining goal.
The final began well for Team Peel as they pulled ahead early on. Collen Warner, Josh Belfrage and Brian Vandornick helped lead the way as Team Peel established themselves with yet another goal. A late push by by Rigo Contreras of Team Mack brought the game down to the wire. His remarkable dribbling skills cut through defenders like a CutCo knife through warm bread. Unfortunately it was not enough for Team Mack. Late wreck-less long ball attempts to Nick Cardenas from Paolo DelPiccolo were rendered unsuccessful. Some would say DelPiccolo lacked creativity in the offensive third while others admit his first day prowess has disappeared. Team Peel's 2 goals were enough for the championship. This was the second championship for Mike Piserchio, Morgan Sacco and Stephen Keel.
After the final game, Mike Piserchio asked visibly depressed DelPiccolo, "You’re acting psychotic lately, what gives?" Delpiccolo was escorted away by equally frustrated Nick Cardenas and was not able to comment. On Twitter, Cardenas was quoted saying "@TeamPeel I am a sore loser and for that, I'm sorry." It is unknown whether disciplinary action will be taken against DelPiccolo and Cardenas for their post game belligerence. All in all, another great day for the Rush Alumni.
In other news, special guest appearances by Jordan Angelina Jolie and Zander Deitz.
Team Keel on Top After Day 2
Day 2 of the Rush Alumni week was one for the ages. As numbers were assigned to players and the teams were formed, it was an optimistic Zach Foxhoven (University of Louisville) who muttered, “in two years of Alumni games, I am 0-7. I feel today is the day.” It was those words that would inspire a talented but honest group of players to the title, led by Stephen Keel (FC Dallas).
Group play saw the four teams exchanging blows with no one showing any real dominance. This is a credit to Alumni Week Commissioner, Erik Bushey, for a fair breakdown of the “Alumni Pros” after some dubious team alignments on Day 1. It was Team Brovsky (Montreal Impact) in the driver’s seat after securing the 1st place seed in the semifinals and drawing the lowly Team Keel as the 4th seed. However, as we all know, seeds mean very little at Alumni Week and it was Team Keel who scored first and they never looked back. Tactical mastermind, Erik Bushey was pulling the strings with some very strategic subbing which Team Brovsky had no answer for. Captain Stephen Keel and Skyler Erickson (Cornell) held down the fort and, Famara “Baba” Bojang (Minnesota Stars) was absolutely stellar in goal.
Semifinal #2 saw Team Marscheider (Houston Dynamo) pitted against a talented Team Warner (Montreal Impact). In an effort to keep it classy, names will be left out but in the opening moments of the game Collen Warner picked up a ball at midfield, megged 3 players and finished his run off with a deft chip over GK Eric Marscheider, it was 1-0 and game over. A brave effort from Carlo Cornacchia inspired his team to fight to the end but it was not enough, soon it was 3-0 and Team Warner had punched their ticket to the final.
After the dominating semifinal performance, Team Warner were heavy favorites heading into the final. Boasting a lineup which included Paolo DelPiccolo (University of Louisville), Cameron Bushey (Director of Youth Boys), Akio Ohtake-Gordon (Loyola Marymount University) and hard-man Andrew Mejia (Metro State), to name a few. It was a cautious start as each team did not want to give anything away too early. As the game wore on Team Keel showed their quality and it was only a matter of time before the deadlock was broken. The game-winning goal did not come until OT but it was well worth the wait. Morgan Sacco (SDSU) beat two players at the top of the box with some special skill, he sucked in an overzealous third defender and dished a ball off to Mike Piserchio who was lurking just off to the left of the goal. Piserchio could have scored himself but he rewarded the man who created the goal and it was Sacco who etched his name into Rush Alumni folklore. Afterward it was a teary eyed Zach Foxhoven, overwhelmed with emotion who said, “now I know what the big deal is about being a winner at Alumni week…it’s the finest moment of my soccer career.” Welcome to the show, Zach.
In other news…
Lindsey Horan (PSG) made her first appearance after flying in from Paris the night before. She left Alumni early which left many questioning her commitment. Is she too big for Alumni Week?
Alumni legends Brian Mullan, Todd Dunivant and Colin Clark were no shows for the second straight day.
Wes Hart went from first place to last place in a matter of day…how quickly things can change.
Famara “Baba” Bojang is the only back to back champion. Can he make it 3 in a row?
Today marked the last day of Alumni Week 2012 for Rush Director Jair Vasquez. You will be sorely missed, Feliz Navidad, Amigo!
Several players offered their thoughts on Alumni week in the video below.
Team Brovsky Captures Title on Day 1A dominating performance by Team Brovsky led to the first “significant” title in Jeb’s career. Although Brovsky was a part of eight state championships with the Rush 88/89 team, his team was never able to win the “big one”, like the Boys 77/78 Rush team that won a National Championship in 1997. The 77/78 team had three MLS players (Wes Hart, Mark Lisi, Brian Mullan) that have won a combined five MLS Cups (Mullan has won all five). According to Jeb, “a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”
Team Brovsky finished group play with a 2-0-1 record, which gave them the #1 seed heading into the semi-final, where they faced Team Warner, captained by Collen Warner, Jeb’s teammate in Montreal. Things were looking bright for Team Warner when Jeb scored an own goal halfway through the game. But similar to the first time these two teams met (when they led by two goals) Team Warner was unable to close the game out. Jeb atoned for his mistake and scored two late goals, giving his team the victory and a berth in the Final.
Semi-Final #2 saw Team Keel, captained by the newly acquired FC Dallas center back, take on Team Bushey (But not that Bushey), captained by the newly acquired DOC Youth Boys. This game certainly lived up to the hype, with end to end action. Team Bushey (But not that Bushey) struck first, but team Keel quickly answered back. A questionable no-call in the penalty box late rattled team Keel, but they were able to regroup, and eventually won the game in OT.
Team Brovsky showed a different (but still effective) side to their game in the Final vs. Team Keel. Known as an active, free flowing, “Rush Style” team, Team Brovsky just did not have the legs to play “their game” in the final. The loss of two-time USYS National Champion, Danielle Foxhoven (89/90 Rush), who went to buy a truck and Ryan Caruth (78/79 Rush), left Team Brovsky without a sub in the most important game of the day. It did not matter though. Houston Dynamo gk, Erich Marscheider was a rock in goal, and Paolo Del Piccolo showed why he is considered one of the top prospects in the upcoming MLS Draft. Del Piccolo assisted both of Famara Bojang’s (Baba) goals, giving Team Brovsky a dramtic 2-1 victory and bragging rights on Day 1 of Rush Alumni Week 2012.
In other news…
Four or Rush’s ten current MLS pros showed up to Day 1.
- Jeb Brovsky - Montreal Impact- First Place
- Erich Marscheider - Houston Dynamo- First Place
- Stephen Keel - FC Dallas- Second Place
- Collen Warner - Montreal Impact- Last Place
Rush expects to see the other six MLS pros throughout the week.
- Conor Casey - Philadelphia Union
- Colin Clark - LA Galaxy
- Todd Dunivant - LA Galaxy
- Brian Mullan - Colorado Rapids
- Jay Nolly - Chicago Fire
- James Riley - Chivas USA
Famara Bojang (Baba) is not in MLS (yet), but does play professionally for Minnesota Thunder of the NASL. His team lost in the Final of the NASL Championships this year.
DOC Youth Academy, Mike Piserchio, was rumored to have been roaming the grounds at Denver Sports Center on Monday. Unfortunately he never made it over to the soccer field. Many were left wondering why he chose to sit out Day 1. Some would say, “it’s not a bad strategy to lay low the first few days and “bring it” on days 5 and 6, when everyone else is dragging”.
Day 1 of 2012, marked the first time in the history of Alumni Week that Zack Foxhoven outscored older sister, Danielle. However Danielle did have to leave after the second game.
The biggest signing in PSG’s history (not Ibra) is rumored to have landed in Denver and will be headed out for Day 2 of Alumni Week.