What a great night we had at the FC Copa Banquet on Saturday! Almost 500 Copa members gathered together at the lovely Pines Manor for a night of friendship, food, prizes and dancing! We really do have an amazing Copa family and it was a pleasure seeing you all dressed up so nicely enjoying the company of your fellow club mates!
As usual, there were several highlights as well as a few innovations to the program this year.
In his annual “State of the Club” speech, President Roberto Aguas cited the many incredible individual achievements in the area of player development, including the numerous alumni who have signed professional contracts and the impressive number of college commitments. Roberto then teamed with Vice President Lori Berman to honor six current graduating senior players.
Christian Rivero (B00/01 EDP) and Hannah Villasin (G00/01 National League) received the newly created Mike Taylor Award, named after the man who co-founded FC Copa Academy in that legendary meeting years ago in Applebees, the oft-described meeting in which he and Roberto scribbled their vision on a napkin that then came to life in the years that followed.
Four players received the highly-coveted President’s Award: Brendan Duffy (B00/01 National League) and Samantha Howard, Mya Stolarski and Morgan Clark (all of the G00/01 National League team). Brendan and Morgan then gave inspiring talks both thanking their coaches and the club for their development while also giving advice to younger players. Brendan urged them to always work harder than everyone else, citing his own remarkable recovery from a career-threatening facial injury to become a standout goalkeeper who will be playing for Muhlenberg next year. Morgan emphasized the relationships she’s made as well as the training received and advised all to “dream big and not let opinions of others influence who you want to be.” She will be playing for Brandeis in the fall.
Two new innovations spiced up this year’s program. The crowd was treated to the first-ever FC Copa Academy Video which highlighted each team in the club, showing recent training sessions with comments from their respective coach. The younger players enjoyed the new “Photo Scavenger Hunt” as they took photos with their phones of various “targets” around the banquet hall.
Before the night concluded with the customary several hours of a packed dance floor, patrons were treated to a Tricky Tray featuring more than 75 prize baskets generously supplied by the various teams. There was also merchandise available at the FC Copa booth and a store set up by a major sponsor of the night, SoccerZone USA. As always, we are very grateful to the Pines Manor for their superior service and professionalism.
Thank you again to our amazing families, players and coaches for another incredible Banquet!