The Unity Cup has become a Philadelphia tradition for the past five years, bringing the city’s immigrant communities together through a World Cup-style soccer tournament. After months of competitive soccer matches, the 2021 Philadelphia Unity Cup has a champion.
On Oct. 16, Subaru Park in Chester, PA played host as Liberia took on Sierra Leone in a rematch of the 2017 Championship. Liberia won that meeting, and unfortunately for Sierra Leone, history repeated itself as they fell to Liberia, 1-0. Anthony Allison scored the lone goal in the first half of play.
It is Liberia’s fourth time winning the title.
After taking a one-year hiatus, the tournament kicked off on Aug. 27 at Smith Playground in Philadelphia with a match between the United States and England. This year featured 52 teams representing 52 different countries, the highest number the tournament has ever had.
The day began with a youth soccer tournament, which ended up being won by Sudan as they topped the youth team representing Sierra Leone, 2-0. Following Closing Ceremonies and a Naturalization Ceremony, the final match kicked off.
At halftime, awards were presented by Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association CEO Chris Branscome, Parks & Rec Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell, Unity Cup Director Bill Salvator and Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon.
Chidi Lioka of Sierra Leone claimed the 2021 Unity Cup Golden Glove Award, while the Golden Boot Award was presented to Ridge Robinson of the United States. It was at this time that the youth team from Sudan celebrated its win in the youth tournament.
There was also the presentation of the Fair Play Award. Each group had a winner, but Trinidad came away as the overall winner of the award. Ghana, Italy, Israel, Greece, England, France, Colombia, Brazil, Senegal, Morocco, Vietnam and Turkey were also recognized.