Armed Forces Men’s Soccer Championship Kicks Off

By MC2 Ian Carver U.S. Armed Forces Sports

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The Armed Forces Sports (AFS) Men’s Soccer Championship held its opening ceremonies and matches April 14, 2018 at Naval Station Everett, WA. 

Four teams made up of the five service branches, Army, Marine Corp., Navy (including Coast Guard players), and Air Force. The first match of the day was between the Navy team and Marine Corp. team. Navy was able to hold off a late attack by the Marine Corp. to finish the match with a three to two victory. 

The second match of opening day was between the 2017 and 2018 tournament champions Air Force team against the Army team. In a tight match with the score tied two to two, Army’s midfield/forward Capt. Andy Hyres scored the go-ahead goal as the 90th minute expired. Army was then able to hold off a strong Air Force push for an equalizer goal during stoppage time. 

“It meant the world to me to score the winning goal. I was injured last year in the opening match versus Air Force and was not able to play the rest of the tournament, so it means a lot to come back and beat them,” said Hyres.  

Family members traveled from all over the country to watch their sons play in the week-long AFS soccer tournament. 

“The match is going great. It is great to see them play such a high level of soccer,” mentioned Elaine Houg, mother of Air Force team captain Joey Houg. Houg traveled with other family members from Rocklin, Ca. to watch her son play. “It is a very cool experience to see him [Joey Houg] play for the first time for the Air Force team.” 

The tournament format consists of single round-robin matches allowing each team to play each other at least once. The top two teams advance to the championship match. Third and fourth place teams compete in the consolation match. The two final matches will conclude the tournament on April 20.     

Players from each Service will be selected by a panel to represent the United States at the 7th Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM) Military World Games held in Wuhan, China from 18 to 28 October 2019. 

Armed Forces Sports is the culmination of each Services’ Sports and Fitness program, offering 25 national and international level sports. Armed Forces Sports promotes goodwill and projects a positive image of our Military by encouraging physical fitness through a highly competitive sports program. For more information, visit www.armedforcessports.defense.gov. (U.S. Navy Story by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class, Ian Carver/RELEASED).