The PUL game brought energy late in the day.
April 22, 2019 by Daniel Prentice in Recap with 0 comments
It was a subdued day three of TEP, until the PUL game between Medellin Revolution and Atlanta Soul, anyway. Bracket play for all of the elite divisions at the main fields meant that a lot of players were playing consolation at the other field site, and the spread out nature of the schedule meant many teams that did play at the main fields didn’t hang around when they weren’t playing. It made for smaller crowds than the first couple of days, and the energy around the complex suffered.
The biggest story from day as far as TEP action went, though, was the defeat of two elite American men’s teams in quarters. San Francisco Revolver and Raleigh Ring of Fire were both eliminated in quarterfinals by Uro and Evolution, respectively.
Neither team had anything close to a roster that will resemble what they’ll look like come the USAU season, so their early defeats certainly shouldn’t be seen as harbingers of rough seasons for the two power programs. But seeing the big names felled by local teams did add a little extra drama for tournament crowds. The bigger story, though, was the qualms the American sides had with the spirit of their opponents.
Ring’s Vikram Sethuraman was knocked out for the tournament on an inexcusably late and dangerous bid from a Voltaje player into his leg in the previous round. And while Ring seemed pleased with the way Evolution played in their quarters matchup, losing Sethuraman from an already small roster made a difference in their tournament ending game.
Revolver was so upset with the way Uro played in their quarter, several players were still holding discussions with the Colombian side even while Revolver were playing in consolation games on Sunday. It’s been a theme in games between South American men’s teams and American men’s teams, that the games have been too physical. You can understand the South American teams’ desire to upset some of the biggest teams in the world, but that desire has crossed the line into unspirited and dangerous physicality too often this weekend. It’s been one of the very few blights on the tournament.
Still, day three of TEP had more than its fair share of fun moments. Here are the things that made me laugh that hardest on the third day of TEP:
Jimmy Mickle taking photos with a line of Colombian players, all from Uro, the team Mickle and PoNY were scheduled to play in semis the next day.
This was definitely funny, to Mickle grinning goofily while Uro players took their turns posing with the American superstar. It was pretty cool to see that Mickle is a legit international star.
Chicago Mixed haggling with their fellow mixed semis teams to reschedule semis games from 8 am Sunday to 6 pm Saturday
“We can play at 8 tomorrow, and we’ll show up fresh and ready to go, or we can play at 6 today and we promise we’ll all shotgun a beer right before the game.” Part of me almost feels like Chicago isn’t actually that invested in winning the tournament, but that can’t be right.
Myself, ordering mango from from a stadium vendor, watching him pour a ton of sugar on it, biting into it, and then realizing it was salt
I think I’ve done a pretty good job of not being supremely gringo-y this weekend, but this was definitely pretty brutal. I still ate all the mango, and by the end thought it was actually a pretty decent flavor combination. But that first bite was definitely a shock.
Watching Mauricio Moore play for Evolution
I got to know Mauricio while covering Revolution at WUCC. He’s one of most genuinely nice guys I’ve ever met, and the work he’s done with Revo speaks for itself. But I’d never seen him play before. If I’m being honest, I’d assumed he didn’t play at all anymore. But there he was, handling for Evolution against La Onda, walking — almost never not walking — around the field, and dropping multiple, casual, no-look over the shoulder passes on the same point. Bravo, Mauricio.