Air Force wins 2018 Armed Forces Men's Soccer Championship for Second Time in a Row

By Lt. Dana Ayers U.S. Armed Forces Sports

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After winning all three regular tournament matches, the Air Force men’s soccer team defeated Navy in the championship match 5-2 to take their second straight title winning the 2018 Armed Forces Soccer Championship at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Air Force jumped out early in the match with Capt. Eric Wilson of Schriever AFB, Colo. scoring the first goal. Navy pushed back taking the lead by halftime with goals from Petty Officer 3rd Class Orlando Zapatagarcia of NAS Lemmore, Calif. and Lt. Cmdr. Michael Tuddenham of the University of Notre Dame, Ind. 

In the second half, it was all Air Force. Air Force Senior Airman Andrew Sanders of RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom registered two back-to-back goals to tie the game and then move Air Force ahead. Air Force Capt. Anthony O'Connor of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. scored in the 61st minute and Air Force Capt Aaron Zendejas of Tinker AFB, Okla. sealed the deal with the final goal of the match in the 89th minute. 


Army placed third going 1-3 in the round robin. The Consolation Match was scheduled for Army and Marines to face each other once again, but after losing three goal keepers to injury, the Marines officially forfeited the match. Despite the forfeit, the Marine Corps placed their Assistant Coach Gunnery Sgt. Rocky Fredin in goal to afford the players an opportunity to play one final match in front of the crowd at Fort Bragg. 

At the conclusion of the tournament, Fort Bragg Garrison Commander Col. Kyle Reed presented All-Tournament Team honors to the best players of the championship. 

Players will return to their home commands, but will have the opportunity to try out next year for the U.S. Armed Forces Men’s soccer team that will compete against several other nations at the Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM) Military World Games in Wuhan, China

Founded in 1948, CISM’s 136-member nations makes it the largest military organization in the world and the second largest multi-sport organization after the International Olympic Committee. 

Visit www.armedforcessports.com for complete coverage of the U.S. Armed Forces Men's Soccer Championship, or use the following hashtags to find additional coverage on social media: #CISMUSA, #ArmedForcesSports, #ArmedForcesSoccer.

2018 Armed Forces Men's Soccer All-Tournament Team:

Goalkeeper:
Senior Airman Benjamin Lockler – Air Force

Defenders:
Capt. Anthony O'Connor – Air Force
1st Lt. Andrew Trahan – Army
1st Lt. Cvetomir Cvetokobv – Marine Corps

Mid-Fielders:
Lt. Martin Sanchez – Navy
Lt. Hector Arrelleno –Navy
Staff Sgt. Giovanny Calderon – Marine Corps

Forwards:
Senior Airman Alexander Stillinger – Air Force
Senior Airman Andrew Sanders – Air Force
Petty Officer 3rd Class Orlando Zapatagarcia – Navy
1st Lt. Alexander Clark – Army