16th Annual California Cup This Weekend in the Bay Area
by Moa Svendsen
Scheduled on February 3 to 5, the tournament will feature some of the best and most established teams in the nation (NYC, NYAC, Chicago, Calheat, LATHC), as well as welcome newer teams that are making their way to the top such as the California Eagles and Denver Wolves. "This is an opportunity to start the year strong and build on the enthusiasm of the IHF World Championship. The California Cup has a long tradition of bringing together competitive teams from all around the country. I can only wish for close and exciting matchups!" - Danilo Rojevic, Tournament Director.
Last year, New York City THC claimed the gold in the women's division, defeating Chicago Inter in a nail-biting overtime. "Last year was a dramatic experience to say the least. After playing a flawless tournament, in the final game against Chicago Inter, our team needed a last second goal to take the game to overtime and ultimately win the trophy for the second time. I was proud to see our women's team show true grit and demonstrate the New York toughness. I'm really looking forward to watching them compete again, and, hopefully, they don't get my heart rate so high this time!" says Bini Mustafa, President of New York City THC. This year's edition will feature four teams (NYC THC, Chicago Inter, California Eagles, and host San Francisco Calheat).
In the men's division, San Francisco Calheat beat New York Athletic Club, also in overtime, to claim a third consecutive California Cup title. "Our ambitions are always high at CalCup. Besides, we're able to make history this year by winning the tournament for a fourth consecutive time." - says Lucas Kroeger, goalkeeper of the San Francisco team. This year's edition will feature eight teams, including Chicago Inter (winner of the 2022 Michael Lipov Memorial Cup) and California Eagles (winner of the 2023 Los Angeles Invitational).
The California Cup remains one of the most prominent tournaments in the nation, celebrating its 16th birthday. "Back in 2007, when we created this event, we had no idea it would become what it is today. We're happy to see so many athletes competing for the win, but we also want this to remain a celebration of our sport and community" - says, SF Calheat President, Jean-Marc Junique.
The tournament will also welcome some honoured guests such as Per Morten Sødal, IHF PRC Chairman, and Ryan Johnson, USATH CEO. This will also mark the return of Andrew Donlin (SF Calheat) and Ty Reed (NYAC), the US Men's National Team players, who recently competed at the IHF World Championships in Poland and Sweden.
Streaming will be made available on San Francisco Calheat Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CalHeat/