Players prepare for 2012 Friendship Cup

Photo from http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/friendship_cup

Photo from http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/friendship_cup

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Jimmy Flint-Smith | Staff Reporter

Lindenwood Friendship Cup team huddle

Photo from http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/friendship_cup

 

Last fall marked the first ever indoor Friendship Cup. This soccer tournament is a long-time tradition at Lindenwood that has taken place every spring semester at Hunter Stadium for the past 17 years. Due to its recent growth, the competition has branched out into the fall semester.

This was a direct result of the massive support of the game and the students’ love for soccer. Evans Commons served as the ideal location for the event, and 17 teams signed up to take part in the action on the indoor field.
Currently, the tournament is already underway for this spring. Ten teams are registered, each with 11 to 20 players.

Teams are often composed of players from all over the world. They include undergraduate and graduate students, as well as several faculty and staff members. Teams are also allowed to have up to three alumni.

This year has been unique, according to graduate student Dino Kambic. With the new rule stating that LU soccer players cannot compete, it’s become a whole new game. As a result, new athletes are seeking to take their claim to fame.

Kambic, who has played in the tournament since his freshman year in 2006, said “The reason I love the Friendship Cup is because the guys take things so serious. It’s intense, which makes it interesting.”
Kambic also pays respect to Carl Hutter, Lindenwood’s head soccer coach and referee for the event.

“We’d like to show appreciation for the coach, because without him, this wouldn’t be possible,” Kambic said.

“He goes out of his way for the students so that they can have a good time.”
Hutter has been refereeing the game since the start, back in 1994. At that time, it was only a seven-on-seven tournament and was originally called the “World Cup.”

The name change occurred in the early 2000s as a result of teams taking games to the extreme. Several occasions led to bitter rivalries. Different cultural backgrounds, both at school and in the players’ respective countries, caused severe tension.

The LU Friendship Cup has gained worldwide notoriety. Over time, cup matches have been shown on Gold Television in nations all over the world.

“Players who enter are playing for more than themselves. They are playing for their culture,” said newcomer Mohammed Ibiyeye. “Everybody wants to win. People are very prideful about this competition.”