August 5, 2019
Just a couple weeks ago Gotham Girls FC had two of our teams - Arsenal and Pelada - travel to Denmark to compete in Dana Cup! Dana Cup Hjørring started in 1982 and in 2019 they held the 38th tournament. In 1982, 222 participated teams and today they welcome more than 1,100 teams each summer. Dana Cup has continued to grow over the past few decades and is now Denmark´s largest sporting event, the World´s third largest youth soccer tournament, as well as the World´s most international youth soccer tournament with 90% foreign teams participating.
On July 19th our teams left to go abroad and Friday night into Saturday was a long travel day for the team. On Monday, the day started with a light practice and spent the afternoon at the Aquatic Center at the Dana Cup complex where the girls had a ton of fun in the pools and on the indoor water slide. On Monday night, our teams participated in the Dana Cup parade and Opening Ceremonies as one of the 6 teams representing the U.S.A. in Hjorring. Families and players said they felt like they were participating in the Olympics Opening Ceremony. All teams from each country (over 1,000 teams) lined up together and formed a parade of countries in alphabetical order with the USA taking up the rear of the procession. They walked through the old town of Hjorring with all of the locals on the sides of the streets cheering everyone on and then the parade proceeded into the town’s big stadium which was packed with people in the stands cheering for the teams. One of our team managers, Dylan Parks, who was there recalled the event, “The girls had an amazing night overall seeing all of the different cultures including teams from Africa and Brazil dancing around and others from Poland and the Ukraine wanting to talk to our girls and a team from Germany wanting to take some team photos together. It's all incredibly positive and really a great global experience for the girls to be part of. “ Throughout the trip, Arsenal and Pelada squads got play against other teams from Norway and Denmark which proved to be an incredible, eye-opening experience to see these different styles of play.
Jose Goicochea Jr., GGFC Technical Director, said, “[he] loved that our teams were able to live in a true soccer environment surrounded by players from many countries that wanted to compete as well. Our players had to adjust to the different lifestyle. They saw how each team had a different attitude to win. It showed our girls that you have to be persistent in life.”
Overall, it will remain an incredible opportunity, experience and memory for our players and we can’t wait for our next international trip!
Check out some video highlights from the trip here!