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Published on August 5th, 2015 | by Staples Soccer


Japan Takes Watermelon Cup, With 2 Classic Wins

It took 2 grueling overtime matches. But as night fell, #2 Japan hoisted the Watermelon Cup.

It was a fitting end to the closest race — and best-played season — in league history. Tied 1-1 with #3 Denmark after regulation time in the semifinal, each team removed 1 player every 3 minutes. When there were just 2 field players left on both teams, Dylan Evans fired home the game winner. The exhausted Japanese immediately got ready to take on #1 USA, an easy victor over #4 Switzerland.

Once again the match was even after regulation, Jordan McNair’s late strike leveling a previous goal by Nate Argosh. Once again, players were removed — this time 2 at the start. Shane Dasbach’s blast rifled off the post — and at the other end, McNair finished for the hard-fought win. Japan did it with superb goalkeeping from Andrew Puchala — a field player.

Congratulations to the victors: captain Kenji Goto, Sean Clarke, Jake Didner, Matt Engler, Dylan Evans, Zach Howard, Brendan Mahoney, Chris Martenson, Jordan McNair, Andrew Puchala and Jack Zeldes.

Special congrats to McNair and Puchala, double winners thanks to their Super Liga championship 2 days earlier.

For the official Watermelon Cup page, click here.

Michael Reid and keeper Ziggy Hallgarten do their best to stop Jordan McNair. (Photo/Kim Lake)

Patrick Beusse does what he can to stop Jack Zeldes. (Photo/Kim Lake)

Kenji Goto leaps high over Patrick Beusse. (Photo/Kim Lake)

The 2015 championship Japan team. Front row (from left): Jack Zeldes, Kenji Goto, Jordan McNair, Brendan Mahoney. Rear: Zach Howard, Matt Engler, Jake Didner, Andrew Puchala, Sean Clarke, Chris Martenson, Dylan Evans. (Photo/Kim Lake)



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