Faces in the Field: Duluth FC's Yossef Elsawy
Defending eCup Champion. Minnesota United eMLS Amateur Cup Winner. Near-Unanimous Preseason Number One.
While many of the participants in the eCup come from different walks of life and historically come from connections fostered by the play on the field, Duluth FC supporter and eCup representative Yossef Elsawy's roots with his club begin on the sticks. A native of the Twin Cities, Elsawy has found a place with the BlueGreens through connections fostered by FIFA and has been involved with the club on the sticks for over four years.
Today, we sit down with Yossef for a brief Q&A ahead of tonight's tournament opener between Duluth and Minneapolis City.
What is your favorite thing about Duluth FC and lower league soccer in general?
The different talent groups that come from lower league soccer and how each team's culture is super important to the teams. You can see how people thrive with the opportunities and gateways that lower league soccer has created.
What does it mean to you to represent Duluth FC?
Representing Duluth FC was in the making since the inaugural Lower League eCup. The were the team I was meant to represent in year one, but unfortunately, I was unable to represent them. Three years later in what could be the final edition of the eCup they still remained loyal to me and supported me even when I did not represent them. This one is for Duluth, not for me. Representing Duluth means loyalty and redemption. Redeeming myself by winning Duluth an eCup and thanking the club for their loyalty and support through these years. I owe it to them.
What is your favorite Duluth FC memory?
My favorite memory of Duluth FC would have to be winning the 2018 Midwest Region Championship. I'm very excited to see what Duluth can do with new ownership, as well.
Four years in, what is your favorite eCup memory?
Winning the eCup last year. Probably the best moment in my FIFA career. I remember the wave of relief after the final whistle in the second leg, it didn't hit me until people started calling and texting me. What an honor it was.
What are you most looking forward to about this year's tournament?
The level of competition. Each year it seems that the competition just goes up and you have to keep up with new people. New faces mean new challenges. Familiar faces means redemption. The stakes are high.
Lastly, the most important question you'll get all tournament, Messi or Ronaldo?
You can watch Yossef and the BlueGreens throughout the tournament at twitch.tv/youfasa.
In addition to stream listed above, Duluth's opening match against Minneapolis City will be streamed separately with full commentary & a pregame show, beginning at 8:45 p.m. ET / 7:45 p.m. CT at twitch.tv/mplscitysc.
ABOUT THE ECUP
The Lower League eCup is an annual FIFA tournament open to all American lower league soccer clubs and supporters groups. Founded in March 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament is the largest of its kind and has featured representatives from 140+ organizations from 38 states over four editions.