past spring, the RTESSE U-15 boys did a two week tour of
Slovakia, Roman's homeland, where they participated in the
Tatra Cup International Tournament and the Nitra Cup International
Tournament. The boys met up with some very strong competition
from Russia, Latvia, Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland,
and Slovakia (just to name a few) and managed to come home
with first and second place trophies, tournament MVP and
Best Goal Scorer awards.
The group started off in the High Tatras (Roman's hometown)
where Roman and the team received the royal treatment. Roman
found himself somewhat of a celebrity being interviewed
by local radio stations and having the team and himself
asked as special guests of the mayor to visit the city hall.
The High Tatras also found the boys up against 12 teams
representing 7 different countries at the Tatra Cup International
Tournament where they came away with the first place trophy
and Tulis' Marcus Haber was awarded the top goal scorer
in the tournament.
boy's first game of the Tatra Cup, up against a Russian
team found them on the winning side of a 3-2 final score
and on the bad side of the Russian coach. The
Tulis team was behind 2-0 after the first half but with
enormous effort and teamwork, they stormed back in the second
and managed to pull off a very crucial win.
Russian coach apparently didn't take the loss very well
and was at quite a loss himself as to how he'd explain a
defeat to a Canadian team! Later that same day, the boys
met a local team (Dubnica) and played to a scoreless draw.
The game was decided on penalty kicks with Tulis Canada
put the Canadian group in first place in their group of
three. They went on to beat another Slovakian team, Humenne
1-0 in the quarter finals, and later that day, in the semi
finals, they met Dubnica once more and at the end of regulation
time were tied 1-1. The Tulis boys once again beat them
in penalty kicks; the final out come was a 3-2 score. The
final game for the first place title was against Zilina
(a Slovakian Championship team) in which the Tulis team
a few days break, the boys moved on to the Nitra Cup International
Tournament where they competed against four other teams
in a straight round-robin format.
first competition was against the eventual winner, Nitra,
and although the result was a loss, the Tulis boys gave
them quite a game. Nitra scored their third goal in the
40th minute to make it a 3-0 game and that was all the Tulis
boys would take. The game turned around in the 44th minute
when Tulis Canada scored and just three minutes later, they
scored again. Suddenly, the Canadians were within one goal.
However, despite a great effort, the game ended in the boys'
one and only loss of the trip.
they played FC Vitkovice, a team from the Czech Republic,
and won 2-1 and then Venglos Academy from Slovakia which
ended in a 1-1 draw. The final game was against Premier
Club Raba ETO Gyor, a team from Hungary. This was a must
win for the Canadians as a win would push them through to
second place and a loss would mean a fourth place finish.
Tulis Canada opened the scoring in the 19th minute and then
scored twice again in the second half and won 3-0 and captured
the second place trophy. Tulis' Marcus Haber was named MVP
of the tournament.
tour finished off with a special award ceremony hosted by
the Slovakian Soccer Association in which Roman was awarded
a Slovak National team #10 jersey (with R. Tulis on the
back) in recognition of his accomplishments and for representing