Rockford, IL – On Wednesday, local semi-professional soccer club Rockford FC traveled to DeKalb to face off against regional rivals DeKalb County United at Northern Illinois University. The club looked to defend the 815 Cup, the rivalry trophy between clubs within the area code, after Rockford was victorious in its inaugural season last year.
The 815 Cup represents much for the two clubs. With DeKalb County United’s president and founder John Hall helping connect Rockford FC’s founders, Samir Romero and Brendan Noble, there has been a bond between the clubs since the beginning. That makes the trophy special as a competitive rivalry but also a presentation of community and the 815 pride that has become a slogan for our area in recent years. When the teams stepped foot on the field, however, all that mattered was victory.
Rockford held possession for much of the game, with most of DeKalb’s chances coming from short-lived counterattacks. Chances aplenty came from every direction in the second half as RFC strikers Poe Reh, Waleed Shaibi, Jose Gutierrez, Colby Newquist, and Sebastian Bugere sought the game’s first goal. It seemed impossible that it would end a draw, let alone DeKalb finding the net. Despite the consistent pressure, though, DeKalb held off the Rockford attack until the final whistle, sending the game into penalty kicks.
Penalty kicks tend to be the tensest moments in soccer. The 815 Cup’s shootout didn’t disappoint. Both clubs missed a shot going into the final kicks, but a save from RFC goalkeeper Carson Davenport set up a final opportunity for striker Colby Newquist to score the winning goal against his former club. He slotted it into the corner of the net, and Rockford FC celebrated another victory to put the club on a three-game win streak.
Rockford FC president Brendan Noble spoke highly of his team’s performance, “There was no doubt after half time that we deserved this win. I’m proud of this team, and we’re glad to be bringing the 815 Cup home for a second year as we continue to build and represent Rockford.”
Four games remain in Rockford FC’s 2022 season, all at home at Auburn High School’s Wyeth Stadium:
July 16th (Sat): 3 pm vs Chicago City SC (Midwest Premier League)
July 21st (Thur): 7 pm vs Laotown FC (Friendly)
July 23rd (Sat): 3 pm vs Iowa Raptors FC (Midwest Premier League)
July 31st (Sun): 3 pm vs DeKalb County United (Midwest Premier League)
Tickets for the matches are available at the door or online at www.RockfordFC.com/tickets for just $5, and kids can enter free if they are wearing their youth soccer jersey.