News: Fort Bliss Men’s Soccer Team fights to be the best military team in the nation
Story by Staff Sgt. Kulani Lakanaria
FORT BLISS, Texas – The Fort Bliss Men’s Soccer Team is slated to compete in the prestigious Defender’s Cup Tournament hosted by Joint Base San Antonio on Aug. 29 through Sept. 1, 2014, in San Antonio, Texas. This will be the team’s third attempt to take home the Defender’s Cup.
“The Defender’s Cup is a national military tournament,” said Sgt. 1st Class Frantcy Diegue, the FBMST head coach, with Headquarters Headquarters Company, Garrison. “There will be 36 military teams participating in the tournament, and all of them will be competing to be the best in the country.”
The Defenders Cup, which began 10 years ago with only six teams, is considered to be the World Cup of U.S. military soccer. The tournament is a four day event with a set of group stages and a knock-out round. The teams competing in the tournament represent all branches of the military. There are teams from the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines as well as joint multi-service teams.
The FBMST is in Group G during the group stage, which includes Altus, Hill, and Cannon Air Force Bases. The group stage determines the seating for the knock-out round.
“We are going to win,” Sgt. 1st Class Diegue said. “We are better prepared this year and practiced a lot. The team is in shape.”
The first time the FBMST participated in the Defender’s Cup Tournament, they finished in second place and were rated the number one team in the Army in 2012. Last year the FBMST was eliminated in the semi-finals.
The team has been playing tune up games in a local El Paso soccer league throughout the year and finished in third place last season.
“This is an opportunity to showcase the talents of Fort Bliss’ military athletes,” said Sgt. Patrick J. Ferraris, a defender, with the 24th Press Camp Headquarters. “We not only get to represent our team, and our units, but also all of Fort Bliss.”
The FBMST is composed of players from various units, and there is even one player from the German air force.
“Some players on the team have been here for four years and some are newcomers,” Sgt. 1st Class Diegue said. “The team has really good chemistry.”
The team holds regular tryouts and is open to all military ID holders stationed here.
For Soldiers interested in playing for the Fort Bliss Men’s Soccer team, contact Sgt. 1st Class Frantcy Diegue at 915-741-5781.
This work, Fort Bliss Men’s Soccer Team fights to be the best military team in the nation, by SSG Kulani Lakanaria, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.