Aromas Cafe FC
A debutant in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, Aromas Café FC is breaking ground not just in the Charlottesville area but also in the D.C. Metro area. The club’s victory against the Aegean Hawks was a watershed moment for the D.C.-Metro area as the Hawks have represented the state association at the region qualifying tournament nine of the last 10 years. That Aromas had also defeated a Tartan Devils side who have gone undefeated in the Greater Pittsburgh soccer league for three seasons should speak to the level of play of the Charlottesville team.
“Those were two great opponents [Tartan Devils and Aegean Hawks] who have a lot of great soccer and playing against them have definitely helped us prepare for this tournament,” said Aromas Café FC player-coach David Deaton.
Café FC is by no means a new team. Prior to securing a sponsorship deal with Aromas Café, a local French bistro from the Charlottesville area, the team played under various names in the region for close to a decade. It is a team made up of former Division 1 soccer players, and players from countries as diverse as Croatia, Morocco, and Mexico.
Aromas Cafe FC
One name that might be familiar to soccer supporters from the D.C. –Metro area would be Jake Van Yahres. Van Yahres, who scored two of the club’s three goals against the Hawks, played for both American University and Virginia Commonwealth University. He was also named second team All-District in 2005 and Second Team All Region in 2004 for Charlottesville High School.
Despite their different backgrounds and experience levels Deaton believes what makes this team special is their bond.
“We may have 5000-1 odds of winning [the US Open Cup] but in the history of this tournament smaller sides have succeeded when they are highly organized, they have good management, and play with purpose,” said Deaton.
Deaton believes his club’s background and experience will also come into play against their next opponents, the Richmond Strikers (who were known as Chesterfield United until a club merger shortly before the tournament).
“We feel very good [entering into the match],” said Deaton. “They [Richmond Strikers] have a lot of players who are currently playing Division 1 soccer. But many of our players have also played Division 1 and we have tested ourselves in recent friendlies. We have also had players who have had the opportunity to go pro. There is no doubt that they are a talented squad; but we believe with our bond and our passion that we have a chance to win.”
Watch a local news story on Aromas Cafe FC below