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Offutt Football Club to compete in 2019 Defender’s Cup

Military members play soccer

The Offutt Football Club’s men’s varsity team scrimmages Aug. 22, 2019, at Halleck Park in Papillion, Nebraska. Offutt F.C. represents all of Team Offutt with athletes assigned to the 55th Wing, U.S. Strategic Command and other tenant units here filling out the club’s roster for the tournament. (U.S. Air Force photo by Charles J. Haymond)

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. --

The Offutt Football Club’s men’s varsity team is preparing for the 2019 Defender’s Cup National Military Soccer Tournament held at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2.

The Defender’s Cup is a military soccer tournament that is open to any base- or post-level soccer team representing a military installation.

Offutt F.C. represents all of Team Offutt with athletes assigned to the 55th Wing, U.S. Strategic Command and other tenant units here filling out the club’s roster for the tournament.

“Our main goal is to win and perform,” said James Strange, Offutt F.C. head coach and major assigned to the 55th Operations Support Squadron as the assistant director of operations. “We want to make sure it's worth the time that the guys are putting in.”

The team practices twice a week and competes in the Nebraska Men’s League on Thursdays. Additionally, to prepare for the Defender’s Cup the team plays in local area tournaments such as the Cornhusker State Games in Lincoln, Nebraska, where they took second place in the competitive division.

While the club represents Offutt at this national tournament, it is not sponsored by the installation. The team members hold fundraisers and pay travel costs themselves to pursue their passion for the game.

The team is not only involved in the community through competition, but also by hosting camps with several youth soccer clubs in the area.

They are hoping to hold more camps next year and increase the amount of partnerships they have throughout the community, Strange said.

Offutt F.C. is looking to recruit players and plans to add an Over-30 team and a co-ed team next spring. Those interested in joining Offutt F.C. should contact Maj. James Strange at OffuttFC@gmail.com or through the FC Offutt facebook group.