James W. Cownie Soccer Park in Des Moines, Iowa recently played host to a strong contingent of teams from around the nation for the 2021 National Presidents Cup. Each team had to battle tough competition at the state and regional level before booking their ticket to nationals. Proudly representing Indiana on the national stage was Indy Phoenix FC 2005.
After a string of impressive performances at the Indiana Presidents Cup, followed by five strong Midwest Presidents Cup victories, the team based out of the Indianapolis area was ready for the next challenge.
Four teams, each representing a region (East, Midwest, South, West), faced off in round-robin style with the top two teams advancing to the championship match. Indy Phoenix picked up right where they left off in game one with a 3-1 victory. The next match saw the side draw 1-1 with the pair of goals coming from penalties. With a spot in the final on the line, Phoenix FC tallied an impressive 2-0 win in the final group stage match.
The Presidents Cup Championship match slated Indy Phoenix FC against DKSC (TX-N) in a rematch of the 1-1 draw in group play. DKSC once again found the back of the net from the penalty mark and pulled out a narrow 1-0 victory.
“The level of competition between these two teams was only surpassed by the respect they had for each other,” commented Indy Phoenix FC Director of Coaching Brett Canova. “Both teams left all they had on the field.”
Peter Mackey, Indy Phoenix FC 2005’s Coach, stated “I am very proud of our team and their accomplishments this season. The boys held themselves with a certain dignity and pride to represent Indiana through this wonderful run and they should be commended for it.”
On paper, the stellar run from the Indy Phoenix side may have fallen just short, but the unique experience was not lost on the players. Numerous team members shared feelings of gratitude for the opportunity to play on such a grand stage.
“Playing against teams from across the nation made me realize the size of this competition,” said Carson Feeny. “We are very proud to represent Indiana at this tournament.”
Ben Church added, “Soccer is more than just a game to me, this is my brotherhood and my family.”
George Perry, ISL Commissioner said, "Indiana Soccer is very proud of the way the Indy Phoenix FC 2005 players and staff represented themselves, their club, and Indiana Soccer as a whole. Having watched them play at the Regional competition in Ohio, I am sure the games at the National competition were first class. Congratulations on a tremendous season."