Med City FC claimed its second trophy of the season on Friday night after its 1-0 victory over Minneapolis City SC at Augsburg University won the Mayhem the “Minnesota” Cup. And while it wasn’t the coveted Conference Championship trophy clinched by Minneapolis City the weekend before, thanks to a win over Duluth FC coupled with a Med City FC loss to TwinStars FC, it was hardware, nonetheless.
However, in an unexpected twist, Med City FC general manager Frank Spaeth decided to change the name of the cup! Noting that there was already a “Minnesota Cup” competition during the Minnesota Amateur Soccer League’s summer season, Spaeth made an executive decision to rename the trophy the “10,000 Lakes Cup.”
The idea behind the Cup was the brainchild of the Minneapolis City SC supporters’ group, called The Citizens. It was created to recognize the Minnesota-based National Premier Soccer League team that finishes the season with the best head-to-head record among all the Minnesota-based NPSL teams. With the Mayhem’s win on Friday night, they claimed the trophy for 2019. The Cup, which The Citizens joke is “the most coveted/fakest trophy in all of Minnesota,” was won by Minneapolis City SC last season.
“The idea behind the Cup is actually a pretty cool one, that I think embraces the rich legacy of soccer in Minnesota,” Spaeth said. “But I think it is important to recognize the work and accomplishments of the state amateur league in creating a strong, competitive, legitimate entity that already includes a Minnesota Cup tournament.”
Spaeth feels that not only is the history of the MASL’s Minnesota Cup important, but that the NPSL’s North Conference needs to create its own history and traditions. Renaming the prize the “10,000 Lakes Cup” gives the trophy and competition its own identity moving forward.
“Our conference has done some great things in just a short time in the National Premier Soccer League,” Spaeth said. “We’ve only been around for three seasons as a conference, but we’ve already had a team win the regional championship (Duluth FC in 2018) and two of our teams represent the league in the US Open Cup (Dakota Fusion FC in 2017 and Duluth FC in 2017 and 2018). As we continue to establish ourselves as a great conference with strong, competitive teams it makes sense to build additional rivalries among our conference members.”
Spaeth joked that he might also physically alter the current Cup, including possibly repainting it silver from its current bronze finish and having a friend build a base for the trophy where a metal plaque could be added, and the winner’s name could be etched on it each season. At least we think he was joking…
Spaeth played in the Minnesota Amateur Soccer League for a decade in the 1990s and 2000s, and the teams he was on competed in the Minnesota Cup each year, reaching the semifinals on two occasions. He looks back on his days in that league fondly. He also recognizes that many current players on NPSL North Conference teams played in the MASL before the NPSL expanded to the area, and that a few of the current teams in the NPSL North Conference started as MASL teams and clubs and/or still have ties to that league.