Team USA making the grade in Rome

Seminarians from the Pontifical North American College cheer their soccer team during the 2010 season opener in the Clericus Cup in Rome. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

ROME — The Stars and Stripes will be waving once again at the semifinals of the Clericus Cup tournament — the soccer series starring seminarians and priests studying at Rome’s pontifical universities.

This is the fourth year in a row that the Pontifical North American College soccer team, the NAC Martyrs, has made it to the semis. They came in 4th place overall in 2008 and 2nd place in 2009 and 2010.

But this could be THE year they win the final championship.

Every single year since the soccer series kicked off in 2007, the NAC’s path to victory had been crushed by losing to the Neocatechumenal Way’s Redemptoris Mater seminary.

The “Red Mat” team has come out winning the final cup in three out of the past four seasons. However, in an odd twist of fate, the Red Mat team did not make it to this year’s semifinal playoff , losing 0-1 last Saturday to the Opus Dei-run Sedes Sapientiae College. With Red Mat out of the way, the Martyrs may have a better shot at a final’s victory.

The Martyrs’ strong defense and coordinated offense led them to beat the Urbanian College, an institution for seminarians from mission countries, 2-1  last Saturday to make it to the May 21 semifinal game.

One Response

  1. Go Martyrs!

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