Congratulations Team USA on WCC Win!
TEAM USA WORLD CONTROLLERS CUP CHAMPIONS!
NATCA members and their teammates, representing Team USA, brought home the championship at the 7th annual World Controllers’ Cup (WCC) soccer tournament, November 12-18, 2017. Team USA dethroned the Russian team for the first time in seven years.
Eight teams of air traffic controllers from across the globe travelled to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, to compete in the tournament. The tournament was attended by air traffic controllers from more than 33 countries. It is a unique opportunity for aviation safety professionals to network with their peers, make new friends, and celebrate our great profession.
“The foundation of this tournament is based on camaraderie and friendship with controllers and aviation professionals across the world,” said Miami Center (ZMA) controller Evan Munro, who serves as WCC USA Regional Director.
“I’m so proud of Team USA,” said Munro. “This year’s competition was the strongest yet, and we were ready to win it all after placing third last year in Miami Beach, Fla.”
This year Team USA featured fresh talent from Kalamazoo, Michigan (AZO); Fort Worth Center (ZFW); and Los Angeles Center (ZLA). Veteran leadership came from Chicago Center (ZAU); Houston Center (ZHU); Jacksonville Center (ZJX); Miami Center (ZMA); and Orlando Approach (F11).
“Team USA was truly something to behold — half the members were new to the tournament but we pulled together and brought the world championship home,” said Blake Hughes (ZAU). “Everyone else assumed the Russians would win for the 7th year in a row. Team USA didn’t.”
Following a day of great matches, the team enjoyed a day of rest with a boat cruise to nearby Isla Saona.
“It’s so great to meet fellow controllers from around the world and play some serious soccer!” said Ryan Johnson (ZLA), one of the many new players on Team USA.
“Last year I knew we could make it to the top three or even win it all, this year proves that!” said Munro. “I’m truly speechless at the dedication from our NATCA members and aviation professionals on this team — it continues to be an honor to organize Team USA. Every single person on this team played their heart out!”
For more photos and a play-by-play of Team USA from the tournament, click here.
Team USA finished first overall out of eight teams, finishing out an exciting fourth year of competition. The team and tournament thanked sponsors NATCA National, NATCA Charitable, NATCA ZAU, NATCA ZMA, and Dina Earl at SkyOne Federal Credit Union for their generosity and support.
Munro said, as a team, the players missed and remembered several loved ones who played in the 2016 tournament, but died this year.
“Rest In Peace, Leah Reay and Jeannie Sanchez. We all miss you,” Munro said.
Next year, the World Controllers’ Cup heads to Las Vegas, November 4-10, 2018. If you are interested in playing next year for Team USA, or attending to cheer on the team, contact Evan Munro at [email protected] for more information.
“We look forward to more interest from our fellow controllers for next year’s tournament,” Munro said.
Team USA Members:
Evan Munro (ZMA)
Joao Carvalho-Silva (ZMA)
Alex Sedlacek (ZDV)
Kaitlyn Windsor (ZDV)
Brano Jovic (ZHU)
Jewel Vinson (ZFW)
Fabian Sanchez (F11)
Ryan Johnson (ZLA)
Jay & Makaila Bonnano (ZLA)
Pete Kovalik (ZJX)
Nolan Clark (ZJX)
Blake Hughes (ZAU)
Eddie Padilla (AUS)
Greg & Rachel Harter (AZO)
Bobby Bless (AZO)
John & Samantha Ponts
Steve & Laura Wilbur