Quest for soccer Cup begins

SCOTT UNGER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 1:32 PM ET

The long climb to Manitoba soccer glory begins today for Second, Third and Fourth Division teams in Round 1 of the senior Manitoba Soccer Association Cup.

Round 1 of the tournament is open to any teams in the Second through Fifth Divisions, with the First Division teams entering the mix in Round 2 and the Premier Division squads playing their first games in the third round. Eight teams will hit the pitch today, including two Fourth Division teams -- Ragnarok S.C and Winnipeg Triumph F.C. Both are undefeated in league play.

The lower-seeded teams have improvement and upset on their minds.

"It should be a good experience," said Ragnarok S.C. manager Colin Koop, whose club takes on Third Division squad Bonivital this afternoon. "The only way to get better is by playing better teams. The thought is always there of pulling off an upset if we play our best."

BREAKTHROUGH

The squad has been together for six seasons and is looking to break through to the Third Division for next season.

"We formed out of youth soccer. We finished fourth last season (the Fourth Division) and we're now at the point where we are seeking promotion," Koop said, adding the Fourth Division is tough to crack.

Winnipeg Triumph F.C. will face their first stiff challenge of the season today in Second Division team the Blue Blazers.

"We've had a good season so far, but we haven't played any of the top teams in our division yet. (Today) should be a good test," said team representative Morgan Proven.

"We play a controlled-aggressive game," he added. "We're definitely not a finesse team."

And a win tomorrow could send this team on a run at the MSA Cup well into the summer, according to Proven.

"If we win (today) and get a favourable draw in Round 2, we could keep going."

The Triumph will play Blue Blazers and Ragnarok will take on Bonivital at 4 p.m. The late games at 6:30 p.m. see the Saint James Missile face the Saint James Seawolves and Rangers tangle with United F.C. All games in the MSA Cup will be played at the Winnipeg Soccer Complex.


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