Army-Navy Cup VII Invades Talen Energy Stadium Friday, October 12
Service Academies Renew Spirited Battles That Takes No Prisoners
This is personal!
That’s because Army-Navy Cup VII is so very special.
Of all the vast and varied experiences I’ve had in four decades in sports media and management, Army-Navy Cup is the most unique and fulfilling. Sure, I’ve been to World Cups and World Series, Final Fours and Super Bowls too. So what’s so special about a collegiate soccer match, played on a neutral field?
The quality of human beings on the pitch and in the stands are among the very best this country has to offer. They’re our future and current leaders of the military and the business community too. They appreciate the sense of teamwork and camaraderie, way beyond what most other teams and individuals do.
At every gathering of Naval Academy alums I’ve attended in the past eight years, there are multiple, animated appeals to Beat Army! At the bottom of every email I receive from Army West Point, it clearly says, Beat Navy! It’s their reason for being, on the NCAA level, long before it’s life and death, in defense of this nation for these guys. Their spirit is incredibly infectious.
They are brothers in arms—just no arms allowed in this game, please. Yet the connection they feel for one another makes you so proud of these incredible gentlemen, who fight like life itself depends on every 50-50 ball. The idea of not leaving everything out on the field is not in their DNA.
I recall the inaugural Army-Navy Cup, in 2012. What a battle. Each team thrusting and parrying, with everything they had, totally spent, emotionally and physically exhausted at the end of overtime of a scoreless draw. When the captains of both teams were awarded one arm of the Cup each, you’d have thought they’d both lost! Or worse. The exasperation over neither side vanquishing the ‘enemy’ was painful. And that image will forever be etched in my mind’s eye. These guys truly are different. They are built to win and we should be incredibly grateful they are.
In a few short years, this event has grown into the biggest collegiate soccer match east of the Mississippi. With the corporate community learning about Army-Navy Cup, led by presenting sponsor Leidos, recognition of the event is expanding too. With good weather, we could have the #1 crowd at an NCAA soccer match in the nation! That’s where you come in.
Just like our servicemen and women, we’re all in this together. Union fans, service academy supporters, local students and soccer clubs alike are all involved. As we continue to grow this game and event, we thank you for those have come out and supported it in its first six years and invite others to join us going forward.
It’s personal for me. The leadership of Philadelphia Union has enabled me to create Army-Navy Cup. It’s a very special event. Now it’s my mission to make sure this is a special part of the Philadelphia sports landscape for decades to come.
See you here at Talen Energy Stadium on Friday night, Oct. 12! Kickoff is 7 PM.
To purchase tickets to the match, please click here.