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Soccer tourney lifts U.S., U.K. spirits at deployed base

U.S. and U.K. service members face off during a soccer tournament at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia, Sept. 8. 2013. The competition was comprised of 10 teams, two of which were solely British, competing  in two individual leagues, with the first and second place teams in each league playing off for the right to reach the final. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

U.S. and U.K. service members face off during a soccer tournament at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia, Sept. 8. 2013. The competition was comprised of 10 teams, two of which were solely British, competing in two individual leagues, with the first and second place teams in each league playing off for the right to reach the final. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

U.S. and U.K. service members face off during a soccer tournament at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia, Sept. 8. 2013. The competition was comprised of 10 teams, two of which were solely British, competing  in two individual leagues, with the first and second place teams in each league playing off for the right to reach the final. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

U.S. and U.K. service members face off during a soccer tournament at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia, Sept. 8. 2013. The competition was comprised of 10 teams, two of which were solely British, competing in two individual leagues, with the first and second place teams in each league playing off for the right to reach the final. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

U.S. and U.K. service members face off during a soccer tournament at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia, Sept. 8. 2013. The competition was comprised of 10 teams, two of which were solely British, competing  in two individual leagues, with the first and second place teams in each league playing off for the right to reach the final. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

U.S. and U.K. service members face off during a soccer tournament at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia, Sept. 8. 2013. The competition was comprised of 10 teams, two of which were solely British, competing in two individual leagues, with the first and second place teams in each league playing off for the right to reach the final. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

U.S. and U.K. service members face off during a soccer tournament at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia, Sept. 8. 2013. The competition was comprised of 10 teams, two of which were solely British, competing  in two individual leagues, with the first and second place teams in each league playing off for the right to reach the final. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

U.S. and U.K. service members face off during a soccer tournament at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia, Sept. 8. 2013. The competition was comprised of 10 teams, two of which were solely British, competing in two individual leagues, with the first and second place teams in each league playing off for the right to reach the final. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

U.S. and U.K. service members face off during a soccer tournament at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia, Sept. 8. 2013. The competition was comprised of 10 teams, two of which were solely British, competing  in two individual leagues, with the first and second place teams in each league playing off for the right to reach the final. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

U.S. and U.K. service members face off during a soccer tournament at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia, Sept. 8. 2013. The competition was comprised of 10 teams, two of which were solely British, competing in two individual leagues, with the first and second place teams in each league playing off for the right to reach the final. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Benjamin W. Stratton)

U.S. and U.K. service members face off during a soccer tournament at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia, Sept. 8. 2013. The competition was comprised of 10 teams, two of which were solely British, competing  in two individual leagues, with the first and second place teams in each league playing off for the right to reach the final. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. and U.K. service members face off during a soccer tournament at the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia, Sept. 8. 2013. The competition was comprised of 10 teams, two of which were solely British, competing in two individual leagues, with the first and second place teams in each league playing off for the right to reach the final. (Courtesy photo)

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Last weekend I saw the Blatchford-Preston Complex fitness center host an international soccer competition on a scale not seen since the 2010 World Cup!

The competition was comprised of 10 teams, two of which were solely British, competing in two individual leagues, with the first and second place teams in each league playing off for the right to reach the final late on the evening of Sept. 8.

Nearly 100 players and almost half as many spectators witnessed an extremely competitive and highly charged start to the tournament the evening prior. Following a tense finish to both leagues early the second evening, four teams readied for battle in the semi-finals. Two American teams, Team Leon and Team Pyramid, met in the first semi, with Team Leon edging their American countrymen 3-1. The two British sides, Team Brimstone and Team Storm Shadow, contested the second semi, which saw Team Brimstone comfortably winning 3-0 to earn the right to meet Team Leon in the final.

With both teams having competed to a very high standard throughout the competition, it was going to take fitness and composure to divide the two finalists. An extremely tight first half saw both teams level 0-0 before the two attributes mentioned ensured Team Leon triumphed to victory 4-0 over their British rivals.

Overall, the tournament was a huge success, providing competitive sport coupled with an entertaining social atmosphere, ensuring participants and spectators alike enjoyed some well-earned "down time."

Please refer to the Sports boards in both fitness centers for details on future soccer tournaments, the first of which is to be held at the beginning of October.