Thank you to all who followed along with us on social media during a tremendous Memorial Day Tournament! We appreciate everyone who shared their favorite moments with us with the #GPSMemorialDay and #GPSTournaments hashtags and we hope you will continue to follow along year after year. Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for photos, news, event updates, and more!
Special shoutout to the winners of our GPS Memorial Day giveaways. Lauren Gravlin won a 32 GB iPad and Julia Liu won a Playstation 4 with FIFA 18. They received the most votes among five finalists for our photo contest. Congrats Lauren and Julia, and thank you for sharing your GPS Memorial Day experience with us!
When asked what the most fun part of the tournament is, GPS South Coast U18 players Tori Shields and Erin Daniel replied, “Winning, it’s fun to win.” That’s exactly what they did on Monday when they won their division in penalty kicks to take home the trophy.
They didn’t get to the finals by accident though. Both girls said their team improved a lot over the course of the season and throughout the weekend as well. “We’ve all grown a lot as a team, which is good,” Daniel said. “We’ve developed more skills.” They were also happy to see so many college coaches watching their games. Shields said, “It’s definitely good to see coaches actually coming out and looking at the teams.”
The Fortis FC U19 team said it was a learning experience for them because it was their first time playing alongside many of their teammates. They were able to gel with their new teammates enough to reach the finals, where they were defeated by the FC Stars. “From the first game to now we’ve definitely improved a lot at reading each other’s plays,” they said.
U19 Bayside FC player Georgia Teixeira, who will be playing at Southern Connecticut State University in the Fall, preached the importance of showcase events like the Memorial Day Tournament. “We’ve always been in the top brackets so that’s good for competition and good for college coaches to watch,” she said. Although she’s committed to college already, she’s still looking to make improvements and said her focus for this particular event was on improving her communication on the field.
For more recaps and information from the 2018 GPS Memorial Day Tournament click HERE!
Everybody comes to the Memorial Day Tournament to play highly competitive soccer games, but everyone has unique goals they seek to accomplish during the weekend. Some players are seeing big improvements in their game, some are connecting with college coaches, and others simply have their eyes on winning a championship in the final go-round with their spring soccer club.
“We’re improving as a team, just our playing style against better teams,” said Devan Jessop, who plays for NEFC’s U17 team alongside his twin brother Dylan. “Winning would be a nice way to end the season.”
Declan Ryan, a U17 player with AFC was happy for the opportunity to sharpen his skills against different competition than he faces in his high school league. “There are a lot of teams that really challenged us that we might not get in our high school league. It’s always good to come up here and test ourselves,” he said. “You’re looking to get better, and if a college coach sees you that’s an extra bonus.”
The Shoreline FC Sounders U18 team won at last year’s event and they went into Monday’s games with the goal of defending their title. “The high school season built everyone up, and now we’re back with our team with great improvement from everyone,” said Ben Demaio, who came to the tournament with hopes of both winning the event with his teammates and impressing college scouts by doing his part for the team. “This event has a lot of teams and a lot of players, so I like it much more than other events I’ve been to. The level of competition is better,” he said.
If you think your team’s players would benefit from playing in next year’s Memorial Day Tournament check out the tournament website and please reach out for more information!
Players have traveled hours from home to compete at the Memorial Day Tournament, but GPS Coach Joao Barata is much further from home than most. Barata has come all the way from Portugal to gain experience coaching in the United States and the Memorial Day Tournament was a great opportunity for him to learn more about soccer in the United States.
Barata came to the U.S. to experience coaching in another country. GPS gives Barata a chance to learn more about the American soccer culture and make an impact on his players’ development in the short time he’s here. He explained that there are very few opportunities to be a full-time coach in his home country of Portugal, so he’s come to the U.S. to experience coaching in another country. GPS gives Barata a chance to learn more about the American soccer culture and make an impact on his players’ development in the short time he’s here.
This weekend Barata was coaching 08 GPS-Massachusetts, but he enjoys coaching players at all ages in different stages of their development. “I coach in Portugal between U9 and U17, so I was very fortunate to have the experience to work with different age groups,” he said. “What I like most is the development of the kids and seeing them improve.”
We asked Barata if he’s seen improvement in his team throughout Memorial Day Weekend. “Yes, of course. They work hard, which is the most important thing. They can always have fun playing soccer, but they still need to try their hardest to improve and that’s the most important aspect in my opinion. It’s a good experience for them.”
Want to learn more about what’s going on at the Memorial Day Tournament? Click HERE
Sunday of The GPS Memorial Day Tournament was a little less sunny, but everyone still brought their A game. Check out the full recap of today by clicking HERE!
Congrats to all the champions of their division! Today we held 3 press conferences with Boys U10 of Ginga Futbol Club, Girls U9 GPS Boston Elite Red, and Girls U10 GPS-MA West Elite Red! Check out our Facebook Page for full videos of all press conferences!
It’s easy to watch the U18 teams put their skills on display at the Memorial Day Tournament and forget all the hard work and determination that went into reaching that level. The Junior Division of the Memorial Day Tournament serves as a great reminder of the countless hours spent honing your craft and learning the intricacies of the game that separate good players from great ones. In Hopkinton, MA on Sunday we saw a lot of young players working hard to become future stars, and having a lot of fun in the process.
“Playing in these types of programs, they learn the nuances of soccer better,” said Elihu Selter, the father of an 09 GPS South Shore player. Players were constantly receiving tips from the sidelines and working on new skills that will help them continue to build off of their fundamentals. William Davis, an 08 player for GPS-Maine said he’s received a handful of tips from his coaches this weekend. “I learned a lot of new skills like opening up and getting wide for the defenders to pass it to me,” he said. William and his Mother, Gia Davis, both emphasized that the competition has been “well matched,” which provides a great learning environment for players of similar skills levels at such a young age.
Lilian Keefe, whose son plays for GPS-Metro Boston 09, said GPS has given her son an environment that’s conducive to growth as a soccer player over time. She explained, “It’s great being with kids who really want to learn and play and develop their soccer skills. Here, all the kids want to learn, they want to improve, and they want to play the game.”
Olga Winner, who also has a son playing for GPS-Metro Boston 09, said it’s been great for the kids to meet players from other teams during the Memorial Day Tournament. “It’s definitely nice to see them meet so many people, so many teams from different regions–meet new friends and get more exposure to different regions” she said. Keefe added, “Most importantly they’re having fun, they’re having a great time.”
Some of the winning teams even got their first taste of post-game press conferences. Parents crowded around as players from championship teams answered questions about their performance and their team’s path to the finals. Win, lose, or draw, everybody left the fields on Sunday afternoon with new friends, new soccer skills to build upon, and youth soccer memories that last a lifetime.
Today all throughout Massachusetts, kids of the ages between 9 and 19 competed in their first day of the GPS Memorial Day Tournament. The weather couldn’t have been nicer to start the holiday weekend off. Tomorrow is another full day of games with some being championship games for the younger teams. Click HERE for the full day 1 recap.