In building his custom Icarus FC jersey over the past four years, Robby Smukler has kept the idea behind his head of hosting a weekend tournament in Philadelphia with teams wearing all of his company’s designs.
That idea came true over the weekend with the first-ever Icarus Cup at the Vidas Athletic Complex at Drexel University.
Forty-one teams gathered for the weekend’s event and all wore Icarus FC designs for the 7v7 tournament, held in partnership with local adult league CASA Soccer.
“It’s surreal and ridiculous to see all of these teams wearing the jerseys,” said Smukler. “It’s mind-blowing to see 41 teams here, but I have to say it wouldn’t have happened without Casa.”
Casa’s experience and organization in running multiple leagues and competitions was evident over the two days, as matches were played simultaneously on six fields set up at Vidas Field and Maguire Field in the multisport complex.
The connections Smukler made with his company, which equips hundreds of clubs with custom designs, was evident in the distance some of the teams traveled to participate. Teams and individuals from New York City, New Jersey, upstate New York, Maryland, Boston and as far away as Seattle participated.
“We play for a league in Brooklyn and Icarus makes our shirts, so they invited us over and we were like ‘who in the league wants to come? “said Zihan Ascensio of One Love CC, who returned home with a trophy after winning the student division.” It was amazing; such a great experience.
Alexi Anderson came from Albany, NY to join one of the Philadelphia Falcons teams in the competition at the invitation of a friend who was celebrating a birthday.
“The sweaters are really cool,” Anderson said. “I love all the designs and colors.”
In addition to the mixed division, there was a first and a second division in the competition. An Icarus FC team won the first division and Maccabi FC won the second division title. The teams that did not advance to the final played two consolation matches on Sunday.
One of those teams was Monmouth Light FC, which plays in the Garden State Soccer League and is outfitted by Icarus FC.
“We’re very happy to be here,” said Joey Dicamillo, who turned his attention to Monmouth Light after tinnitus forced him to withdraw from music. “Icarus is truly an innovative kit maker that is both advancing the field of fashion in football and also changing the landscape of what is achievable for lower league clubs.”
Planning for the event began in late fall, when it was still unclear what the summer would bring in terms of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It was a real gamble,” said CASA Soccer president Nolan Bair. “In November, we realized we might not be able to have this in the summer, but if we didn’t start planning for it, it wouldn’t happen. In February / March we were pretty confident we were going to be able to have it and here we are.
Tournament Director Charlie Shea, who was part of CASA Soccer’s volunteer team for the event, said the partnership with Icarus FC was a key part of the event.
“The synergy is really very special,” said Shea. “You play under the Casa umbrella and you see what Philly football is like and the Icarus brand has given us a lot of credit there, so having something like that where people get a whole new set of. jerseys that they can take home with them to remember the tournament by is powerful and good for everyone.
BrotherlyGame.com was represented in the competition by the Philadelphia Ringers, a team that emerged from a series of articles last year imagining whether Philadelphia received an MLS team in 1996. Several of our editors and a few friends from the site participated.
“Even though we were there just for fun it was great getting to know each other Brotherly game contributors and play a bunch of football, ”said Justin Fisher. “Bringing the Philadelphia Ringers to life was really cool and as a self-proclaimed jersey fanatic, getting a new bespoke soccer jersey was just the icing on the cake of an already awesome weekend.”
In addition to the two game days, there was an opening night at Yards Brewing Company, a Saturday night event at the Ukie Club and a Euro Eve party at Smokey Joe’s to end the weekend.
“I just wanted to have a weekend for people to have fun and have some cool jerseys,” Smukler said.