What do Wrexham Red Dragons, West Ham United, Hapoel Tel Aviv FC, Charlotte FC and Borussia Dortmund all have in common? They’re playing in TST in Cary, North Carolina this week.
Brought to you by the same creative minds behind the elegantly named “The Basketball Tournament,” comes an exciting, World Cup inspired tournament ingeniously called: “The Soccer Tournament.”
While we’re all wallowing in the sorrow of last weekend’s lost Bundesliga title, fans will have a chance to watch a different Dortmund team compete for a $1,000,000 cash prize in Cary, North Carolina from June 1-4. This isn't your average tournament however. I’ll explain why.
For starters, the pitches are 45 yards x 65 yards, much shorter than a traditional pitch. In addition, teams will field seven players at a time, six outfield and one keeper. Substitutions are rolling rather than during breaks in play and there is NO offsides or slide tackles.
Matches consist of two 20-minute halves, but each game must end on a goal. Once the second half reaches full-time, teams will compete in an untimed ‘final frame,’ in which the target score is calculated by the leading team’s score +1. If a match finished 4-2, then the untimed final frame will last until one team reaches 5-goals. If the match ends at 1-1, the target score would be 3. In addition, during the overtime period, teams will be required to substitute one player out every five minutes without replacement. Teams will become smaller and smaller on the pitch until a winner is determined.
The tournament is set in a traditional World Cup format with 32-Teams, 8-Groups and a Round of 16 to begin the knockouts.
Borussia Dortmund’s Participation
BVB are certainly one of this tournament’s headlining teams, however I’d be lying if I said I was even familiar with half of their squad. The team will be led by Dortmund legends, Dede, Kevin Großkreutz and Felipe Santana. The full squad is as follows:
Adam Misirly -Defender- (Lake Central)
Annika Daniel -Midfeilder- (South Carolina State ‘22)
Cameron Brown -Midfielder- (UNC ‘08-12, Dallas Sidekicks ‘13-20, Mesquite Outlaws ‘20-21)
Dedé -Defender- (Atlético Mineiro ‘96-98, Borussia Dortmund ‘98-11, Eskisehirspor ‘11-14)
Djibognihou Koulai -Forward- (Borussia Dortmund ECNL Youth Club)
Dominic Riedle -Midfielder- (General Manager & Player for BVB TST Squad)
Dru Wright -Defender- (Director of Soccer Development and College Program Director for BVB International Academy America)
Felipe Santana -Defender- (Figueirense ‘06-08 Borussia Dortmund ‘08-13, Schalke 04 ‘13-15, Kuban Krasnodar ‘16, Atletico Mineiro ‘17-18, Chapecoense ‘20-21)
Jakub Lisek -Midfielder- (Coach for BVB International Academy in Chicago)
Julia Farr -Midfielder- (Manager of International and New Business for Borussia Dortmund)
Julius Everke (USA Country Manager for Borussia Dortmund)
Keegan Woolley -Midfielder- (St. Mary’s University, Blinn College, Alvechurch FC)
Kevin Großkreutz -Midfielder- (Rot Weiss Ahlen ‘06-09, Borussia Dortmund ‘09-15, Galatasaray ‘16, VFB Stuttgart ‘16-17, Darmstadt 98 ‘17-18, KFC Uerdingen ‘18-20, TuS Bövinghausen 52 ‘21-Present)
Max Schindler -Midfielder- (USA Senior Director for Borussia Dortmund at SPORTFIVE)
Michael Bolvin -Goalkeeper- (Queens College & ASA Avengers)
Michael Spear -Midfielder-
Noah Beck -Midfielder- (University of Portland ‘19)
And there you have it! BVB’s TST squad lacks any official attacking players. It’s a bold strategy, but I’m excited to see how it plays out. Roman Weidenfeller was also announced as a participant but his name is absent from BVB’s official tournament roster. Should Dortmund win this tournament, they will donate the full $1,000,000 to charity. Dortmund have been placed in Group A alongside the Hoosier Army, a respectable team comprised of Indiana University Alumni, Kingdom FC which is led by reality TV stars, the Califiore brothers and finally Newtown Pride FC, an amateur club from Sandy Hook, CT.
For those interested, all matches will be aired on Peacock, Youtube or Facebook.
Dortmund vs Hoosier Army June 1, 9:00 AM EDT on Peacock
Dortmund vs Newtown Pride FC June 1, 5:15 PM EDT on Youtube
Dortmund vs Kingdom FC June 2, 9:00 AM EDT on Peacock
Is this Tournament Worth Following?
If you’re a hardcore soccer fan, then the answer may be no. If you just wanna see Dortmund’s current roster, then this might be one to miss as well. But if you’re still licking your wounds from last weekend and need to satiate that itch to watch soccer, then this could be a fun distraction this week and weekend.
This tournament will be action-packed and full of matchups that wouldn't happen in a million years with teams that are both formal and silly. Former USMNT Captain, Clint Dempsey’s Team Dempsey boasts talents like Jermaine Jones, Eddie Johnson and Chris Wondolowski, while Italian Series B side Como 1907 has recruited the likes of Cesc Fabregas. The legendary United States Women’s National Team will also feature a squad headlined by Heather O’Reilly while Jimmy Conrad and DaMarcus Beasley are leading the new Conrad and Beasley United. Even NFL star Chad Ochocinco is getting in on the action with Nati SC.
This tournament is sure to be a fun spectacle to watch and I’m excited to have purchased a full four-day pass for the tournament. The $1,000,000 Championship match will be broadcast live June 4, on CNBC (for US-based viewers)
List of Groups
Group A: Dortmund, Hoosier Army, Kingdom FC, Newtown Pride FC
Group B: Wolves, Blade & Grass FC, DMV Diplomats, Villita FC
Group C: Club Necaxa, Hapoel Tel Aviv, SLC FC, Virginia Dream
Group D: West Ham, Culture By Mo FC, Dallas United, Far East United
Group E: Wrexam Red Dragons, Como 1907, US Women, Say Word FC
Group F: Hashtag United, Conrad & Beasley United, Nati SC, Gracie FC
Group G: Team Dempsey, Sneaky Fox FC, Zala FFF, Jackson Boom
Group H: Charlotte FC, Duke Sevens, NCFC, Raleigh Rebels
Will you be watching TST? Let us know in the comments!