And so it comes to this! Another year of CASA Soccer in the books and the Kelly Cup final is all that’s left to be settled. What teams will be ready to fight for the biggest trophy at CASA next weekend? FC Southhouse vs Rose Tree Gunners.
The return of the finalists defeated last year! SouthHouse booked their place in the Kelly Cup Final by finishing second in the league, a playoff quarter-final win over champion Terceira Yardi FC, and a semi-final win over Real Vidas. This group of seasoned activists may have been labeled “old” and “past” on social media, but expectations have always been high for South House, which maintains a strong and experienced team.
Having won everything before, they may enter the final as simple candidates. In addition to occupying a higher position in the table during the league season, they had a goal difference superior to Rose Tree thanks to their light defence, and were at the top of the list of goals they scored with their opponents in the final. Perhaps this record is another reason to give them a favourite in this game.
The star of this team is Finn Reis, the great German striker whose goals I scored during the various stages of this competition, but in fact there is a quality equally spread throughout this aspect. They are just as good at absorbing pressure in a compact formation and are just as comfortable to play on break as they are from behind. Fans new to CASA may also be looking for their false playmaker, who makes them beat, and their wide striker, capable of quick counterattacks.
Just two years ago it was Rose Tree Gunners FC in Tercera: CASA Division III. It is a testament to what impressive mission captain Dean Giovanopoulos has done with this team as they have now reached their first Kelly Cup Final. This team is the young contender for SouthHouse’s standing as activists and wielders. They have a deep squad that has been battle-tested over the past few seasons through back-to-back promotions and appearances in last year’s Kelly Cup semi-finals. They proved their strength by kicking out last year’s winners, FC Misconduct in the semi-finals. They are also in the Palangi Cup Final on Wednesday 22nd June, and they will have more experience playing a title match more recently than their opponents.
The natural tendency might be to favor SouthHouse, given that they reached the finals last year and won the championship in the past. However, a closer examination of recent matches will show that SouthHouse lost in the regular season to Rose Tree by a margin of 6-3, and then again in the Palangi League Cup semi-finals, conceding a winner at the last minute, having initially led his game. Maybe Rose Tree has her number one this season!
This is another team full of talent from front to back. Rose Tree prides themselves on their defense and is known for playing compact block that frequently frustrates opponents. This does not mean that they are not fatal either: they have many active attackers and large players. New CASA fans may be looking for Hunter Dyson, the attacking midfielder, through whom much of their forward play flows.
Named in memory of former Casa Soccer League board member, player and friend Shane Kelly, the Kelly Cup is Philadelphia’s largest amateur football stage. The game between FC SouthHouse and Rose Tree Gunners FC will take place on Sunday, June 26 after the final whistle between Philadelphia Union and New York City at Subaru Park.