The 12th Annual Ukrainian Nationals Memorial Tournament: Tryzub hosts 202 teams.

By Eugene A. Luciw, J.D.

Horsham, Pa. – Memorial Day Weekend. 2013 was a milestone year for the Ukrainian Nationals Memorial Day Weekend Tournament, not only because it cracked the 200 team barrier, but also because the renowned Got Soccer online magazine elevated it to the prestigious ranks of Gold in the boy’s category and Silver in the girl’s.

The Tryzub tournament’s assiduous scheduling coordinator, scorekeeper and statistician, Terrence Simmons (at whose work over the years this writer can only marvel), confirmed that 122 boys’ and 80 girls’ teams had gathered from seven States throughout the Atlantic seaboard and Western Pennsylvania. Terry also reported that 339 games (41 more than last year) were played in 28 brackets (15 boys, 13 girls) at five different venues: Tryzubivka, Keith Valley, Kohler, Carpenter and Windlestrae. All of the finals games (for all 28 brackets) were played on Sunday at the Ukrainian American Sport Center.


Ukrainian Nationals U-15 Atoms Eric Melio (white jersey), parishioner at St. Anne’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, Warminster, PA, in action. (Photo Courtesy of Jim Jubinski)

Reflected in the faces and emotions of players, coaches and parents, as they gathered for trophy presentations immediately after their finals, the competition was fierce. The various soccer clubs had undeniably entered their strongest teams. Notably, leading American soccer academies such as PDA (Player Development Academy) and First Touch participated.

Tryzub vouchsafed fairness, on the other hand, through its perennial insistence on properly certified referees and linesmen for all brackets of play.

On Saturday night, the Ukrainian Nationals hosted a “Picnic under the Stars”. The teams, parents and guests enjoyed a marvelous evening of fun to the accompaniment of popular Philadelphia musician and singer-songwriter, Dan Rendine and a live dance band, “Fat Uncle Jack”.


Ukrainian Nationals U-15 Atoms Eric Melio (white jersey), parishioner at St. Anne’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, Warminster, PA, in action. (Photo Courtesy of Jim Jubinski)

Violent Friday night rain storms and high winds throughout the weekend tested the tournament committee’s contingency planning, ingenuity, nerves and flexibility, but the event continued and ended with surprisingly limited visible affect by the weather. The committee met all obstacles and moved the play and a mass of players, spectators, referees, vehicular traffic, field marshals, vendors and volunteers with exquisite precision. They stocked and re-stocked each location with appropriate personnel, concessions, supplies and conveniences.

Said tournament director, Cheryl Mannato: “…hospitality ultimately guides and inspires us … I think that explain that little extra something that the teams, parents and spectators feel when they come to visit.”

Numerous guests literally marveled at the excellence of Tryzub’s facilities and the unparalleled organization and appeal of all aspects of the tournament. The coach of a PDA boys team, ranked as the best on the East Coast, explained that his team travels extensively to many tournaments “… and this one is one of the best that I have ever seen. My congratulations to the Ukrainians; what a marvelous facility … so very beautiful and so European.”

Tryzub President, Danylo Nysh, who originally designed and directed the tournament thorough it fledgling years, literally beamed with “…pride and admiration for the tournament committee and the volunteers.” He also thanked the tournament sponsors for their generosity and the neighboring soccer clubs and government officials for their cooperation in allowing the use of their facilities and venues.

Each champion and finalist player received a custom-designed trophy or medal with an engraved Tryzub and an explanation of its special significance to the Ukrainian community.

Listed below are the results of the tournament: