TSC - Love 4 The Game III Toronto Soccer Tournament

A behind the scenes look at Toronto Soccer Connection’s tournament from the lens of a Competitive Unicorn 🦄 ⚽️

Particula Unicorns (We unofficially won best jersey’s at the tournament)

Blog post written By Alex Lamontagne on February 21, 2018.

A Tournament Centred Around Fun, Inclusion, and Competition

TSC (Toronto Soccer Connection) hosted their “Love for The Game 3” Soccer Tournament on Sunday Feb 18, where 12 co-ed teams competed to be crowned Champions 🏆

It was a 7v7 indoor tournament at Monarch Park Stadium in Toronto that featured the 4-time TSC tournament Champions Tekkers who were out to win their fifth championship, which had everybody buzzing and feeling super competitive. I (Alex) wanted to learn more about the soccer community here in Toronto and and since I can never pass up an opportunity to play some footy, I joined Alicia’s team Particula Unicorns which included some of her closest friends, AMAZING jerseys, and overall great footballers.

“Group of Death”

Gearing up to play our first game. To the left, you can see that we were in “Group A” aka the “Group of Death” ☠️!

I should mention now that we were in the Group of Death because every other team in our group was very strong. This wasn’t going to be easy.

I didn’t know anyone on our 🦄 team other than Alicia, but by the way she talked about her friends I knew they were all going to be great! The tournament featured a lot of competitive players, some whom I knew and hadn’t seen in a while.

Our first game was at 6pm and our whole team finally met one another by 5:50. Usually I know all of the players that I’m about to play with and know their tendencies on the pitch, but this time it was a bit different. I knew I would had to watch and learn on-the-go in order to mesh in with everyone and gain team chemistry.

Nerves, Tension, Jelling, Yelling

Our first game we tied 1–1, unfortunately. We missed some opportunities that could have given us the win, but for me, that game was more for everyone to get their jitters out and get used to playing with one another. Everyone was so friendly and fun, that playing with this team became so seamless and easy.

Between our first two games we didn’t have much time to talk strategy, it was more learn-as-we-play-more with one another.

Usually you play the strongest team in the end, but for us, the tough one was our second game, against the four time reigning champions, Tekkers. We played super well and on a last minute shot, they scored and we couldn’t get one back. It was a tough hit to our game, but we did some quick math and realized that if we won our next game, we would move onto the quarter finals.

Of course we know how to have some fun too- look at those sweet moves!

We had a 25 minute gap in order for us to get our strategy together and work as one. The final team in our group was decent and had just won their previous game so they had some momentum going into our game. At this point, Martin from our team played a huge role in keeping us resilient, positive, and hyped by reinforcing that we need GRIT! We knew that losing and going home early was not an option. We came out firing on all cylinders and played our best game yet!! We won 2–0 and on top of that, Tekkers tied which meant we were off to the quarters!!!

A much deserved hour break followed where we were able to take some photos, relax, refuel and get ready for our quarter final game. Big shoutout to James from OpenSports for coming to the tournament with a full set of lights and cameras in order to get our photo booth set up with props and Clif bars #FreeFood! There was a skills competition with various challenges including a crossbar challenge, juggling, and target shooting.

On to the Playoffs — Now the Real Fun Begins

Our winning goal against Scarborough Lynx in the Quarter Finals! Scored by none other than the tournament organizer himself, Puchee. A true Unicorn!

Our quarter final game was against a team in another group so we weren’t able to keep track of how strong they were. Although we were a team who didn’t play together consistently, we had motivation, grit, passion and wanted to have fun, and that showed in our performance. With the opposition, Scarborough Lynx, being really good, the game went back and forth, but once we got in our groove we came out with the win, thanks to an incredible goal by Puchee! Which means the Unicorns were off to the semi-finals! Two more wins and we would be Champions!!

Our semi-final game was against a very strong Joga Bonito team. They consisted of great players all around and were one of our more physical games. The game was tied for a couple of minutes before they got an early goal. We weren’t out, but we needed to respond quickly in order to get our momentum back. We had a lot of chances, but couldn’t finish and Joga Bonito continued with their momentum and came out with a 2–0 win.

We were able to sleep peacefully knowing that the team that eliminated us in the semi’s, Joga Bonito, clinched first place by beating Tekkers in the finals! Congratulations, Joga, on being the new Champions. We’re coming for you at the May Blooming Cup Tournament, though🏆

TSC Champions: Joga Bonito. Photo Cred: Toronto Soccer Connection

As for us, we fell short in our 3rd place game and finished fourth in the tournament. Although we finished fourth, the few hours that we played together and enjoyed one another’s company, playing music, and celebrating the wins, was amazing and TSC put on a great tournament and I’m looking forward to more in the future.

Finally, I want to give a:

  • Huge shout out to the organizers, all the volunteers and referees for coming out and putting on a great tournament
  • Shoutout to TSC for making this tournament to happen and putting on a great night
  • Shoutout to all the players who were in attendance and played hard and had fun!
  • Shoutout to Scott and Alicia for making our jerseys and putting in the hard work to make sure we all looked spiffy

If you want to talk soccer or create your own game through OpenSports, please feel free to reach out to me alex@opensports.ca