2023 BAS Cup Preview

The most eagerly anticipated event in the long BAS Summer Season kicks off Sunday with 18 contenders all taking to the pitch for a great weekend of soccer in Brampton. The BAS Cup is the most distinguished award in the BAS trophy case simply because it’s the hardest to win. The award was established in 2002 and presented to the Men’s Outdoor Inter-Divisional Tournament Champions every October. It is generally regarded as the most difficult award to win as it’s not uncommon for the winners to be crowned after a 16 – 20 match season, playing against unfamiliar opposition often in the frigid temperatures of October. A large part of the Cup’s appeal lies in the fact that the inter-divisional format allows teams who are considered weaker and in lower divisions, or older in 35+ divisions, to compete against stronger, younger opponents and who wouldn’t relish that opportunity?

We have carefully considered all the pros and cons, peaks and valleys, pluses and minuses, so here are our quick takes on each contender and their odds of winning it all.

Xavier Bhoys +12500: Something wouldn’t seem right if one of BAS’s longest standing teams didn’t make a Cup appearance. They are perennial entrants, but this 35+ team will have the longest odds of winning and will struggle to make an impact, even in Round 1. The backstory here is that this may be the swan song for BAS super-striker, George Araya who plans to hang ’em up after the Xavier Bhoys 2023 Cup run.

FC Bolas +5000: The lowest ranking Div B team to enter the Cup is FC Bolas. Perhaps they realize that playing free soccer in autumn can be fun. But expect that fun to be brief as they face Div A juggernaut G-Torino FC right out of the gate. If anything can go wrong, it would be G-Torino expecting a cake walk and maybe team sniper Alexandre Goncalves and rest of the Bolas boys can use that to their advantage.

GBC FC Crest

GBC FC +3150: The biggest obstacle facing Div M mid-table contenders GBC FC may be the tremendous misfortune of drawing Div B season and playoff champs Santa Clara in Round 1. The seasoned GBC FC side plays a consistent style of football that’s entertaining to watch and their roster features several Cup winners from the glory days of BAS, but it will take much more than that to derail Santa Clara’s perfect season.

Mega City FC Crest

Mega City FC +2750: Very few teams in all of BAS conceded fewer times than Mega City FC this season. They will need to rely on that ultra-stingy 1.25 GA per match if they plan on making any headway. Their blessing was drawing Xavier Bhoys in Round 1, who they should manage to dispatch, but their journey is bound to get more complicated thereafter.

Freebandz FC Crest

Freebandz FC +1250: Freebandz’ only win this season came off of a mid-season forfeit, so you’d be excused for quickly writing them off. But wait, they lost most of their other matches by 2 goals or less and managed draws against BAS Cup holders VSFC and against Div A season champs G-Torino FC. If any team is able to turn some heads in the Cup, it just might be Freebandz FC. That said, they’ll be challenged right from the outset staring down the barrel of Dashmesh FC’s perfect season.

Hot Grabba FC +1250: Hot Grabba’s fortunes rise and fall with their two prolific strikers: Nic Gomez-Solar and J’mar Williams. Indeed, nearly half of this team’s goals came off of the feet of these two snipers, both of whom cracked the top 7 in the Div B scoring race this season. (In)consistency and discipline will be hurdles for Hot Grabba, but their biggest obstacle will be Round 1 opponents and BAS Cup holders VSFC. Damn!!!!

Jinky's Nighthawks Crest

Jinky’s Nighthawks +1125: Only FC Bolas ranked lower than Jinky’s Nighthawks as Div B contenders. However, they possess one thing that very few others teams do: a 20+ goal scorer. If Blaine Salmon can continue to do what earned him a 2nd place finish in the Div B scoring race and they can get bodies out – an ongoing issue for them – Jinky’s might just impress. Masters’ playoff finalists Paragon SC stand in their way in Round 1 and are certainly no pushovers.

Ebony SC +1000: With nearly a 50 year history, Ebony SC entered BAS for just their first time this summer. Perhaps it was the shell shock of a new league, but Ebony had no wins on the pitch to show for their efforts leading into August. Incredibly, they turned a corner, notching impressive wins against formidable opponents it their last 2 regular season match-ups. Odds are still long, but don’t sleep on Ebony.

Digsy FC Crest

Digsy FC +775: One of the strongest “been here before” contenders are Digsy FC. Established in 2009, the squad often goes deep into the tournament, losing 1-0 in both the 2018 and 2019 Cup final. This year’s version of Digsy is certainly not as strong as the teams of yesteryear, but they were still solid enough to cruise to the Div B playoff final last week and no one should discount all of that Cup experience.

K&L Armada +700: What’s in a name? In one form or another, Armada has fielded a team in every BAS competition for the last 20 years. Perhaps they are known more for their indoor prowess than outdoor, but a classic version of Armada did hoist the hardware back in 2005. They are always in the mix and no Div B team gave up fewer goals than K&L Armada this season. Standing in their way at the starting gate is Div A playoff champs 905 FC. Won’t be easy.

Black Lions FC +675: Another new entrant into BAS, the Black Lions FC come with an established pedigree of soccer success outside of BAS. That, however, was not enough to land them a playoff spot in the toughest Div A in BAS in years. The side narrowly missed the playoffs, finishing 5th in the standings and likely now itches to live up to their billing. With 32 registered players, the roster is certainly deep enough to make some noise.

Paragon SC +625: This squad has enjoyed a great share of Masters Division success, rarely placing out of the top 4. They often falter; however, in Cup competition when up against opponents outside of their division. Last year was no exception with a Round 1 exit at the hands of K&L Armada. Hope springs eternal though and a favourable draw this year may aid Paragon as they endeavour to go further than ever before.

Santa Clara Crest

Santa Clara +475: What a difference a year makes!!! Santa Clara found themselves near the cellar floor last season with only 4 wins. Relegation appears to be exactly what the doctored ordered and their 2023 Div B campaign has been perfect…literally. Div B season and playoff championships accolades are certainly no small potatoes, but the BAS Cup is an altogether other shebang. In their favour is their 14 – 0 record and their scoring champion Erick Hernandez.

G-Torino FC +450: You’d think that the Div A season champions would figure higher than 5th for BAS Cup contenders, but G-Torino FC has serious hurdles to overcome if they want to claim the ultimate prize this season. Their premier keeper will spend the first 3 matches of the tournament on the bench, courtesy of a 3 game suspension during the playoff semi-finals. That can’t be helpful. Perhaps more detrimental; however, is the team’s inconsistency in important matches. While the squad fell only twice over the last two years in regular season matches, playoffs and Cup games appear to be their undoing. Could 2023 feature a different outcome? We’ll stand by our odds for now.

Dashmesh FC +375: Dashmesh is a team that just can’t get enough football. Playing several times a week and in multiple tournaments seems to be their recipe for success. They are only one of two teams this year to still be holding onto a perfect season with a current 14 – 0 record in the Masters. Top scorer Parminder Marara is a 24 goal man and can certainly change the complexion of any match. Still, no BAS Masters team has ever won the coveted Cup and none have even made it to the final. Has there ever been a stronger contender though? Probably not.

905 FC +275: A team that will never run out of gas after 80 minutes is 905 FC. With 37 (not a typo) rostered players, don’t expect them to lose due to fatigue. This well organized side finished 4th in their first Div A campaign in 2023, but really turned heads in the post-season knocking off both the 1st and 2nd place teams to clinch the playoff title. It would be hard to make a case that there are any other teams more resolute than 905 FC to show that they can win it all. However, their 4th place finish gives them a tougher road to the finals than their rivals, but no team may be more prepared.

VSFC +175: Remarkably, 2452 days ago was the last time some team other than VSFC could claim that they were the BAS Cup Champions. Winning 5 consecutive Cup Championships, the holders have done something no other team ever has (and likely never will again). Still, no tree grows to heaven and all good things eventually end. The hardest thing to do in sports is repeat as Champions. Everyone else is gunning for you and will almost certainly bring a little extra to the pitch on game day. This does not make them overwhelming underdogs and VSFC’s Cup experience will likely take them deep into the tournament, but there can be but one favourite.

Heepy FC +150: Narrowly losing on penalties in last year’s BAS Cup final, Heepy FC is our favourite to win it all this year. These Div A second place finishers sported an 8 – 2 – 2 regular season record, but no other team came close to the goal production for Heepy with Mark Sannzzaros and Daniel Lazzara finishing 1st and 3rd, respectively in the scoring race.

No slouches in the defensive end of the field either, Heepy were scored upon only 14 times all season. No team conceded fewer goals in as many matches. With one hand on the Cup last year, we believe Heepy FC will want to vanquish that disappointment and has all the right pieces to make that happen. Only time will tell. Let’s go!

Do you agree with our predictions? Get out your own crystal ball and let’s see what you got in the comments below.

Round 1 match-ups

G-Torino FC-725vsFC Bolas+2000
Heepy FC-300vsEbony SC+800
VSFC-500vsHot Grabba FC+625
905 FC-225vsK&L Armada+550
Dashmesh FC-250vsFreebandz FC+725
Paragon SC-175vsJinky’s Nighthawks+475
Digsy FC-225vsBlack Lions+250
Mega City FC-925vsXavier Bhoys+6500
Santa Clara-150vsGBC FC+1100

Join the discussion for "2023 BAS Cup Preview"

  1. September 23, 2023 @ 1:34 pm
    Great job on the BAS cup review. My picks for the 1st round winners: G-Torino FC Heepy Fc VSFC 905 FC Danshmesh FC Paragon SC Black Lions FC Xavier Bhoys(major upset in the 1st round…Yes I said it). Santa Clara Final 4: G-Torino FC Heepy FC Danshmesh FC 905 FC
  2. September 23, 2023 @ 1:51 pm
    Xavier Bhoys, eh? 65:1 for the win tomorrow. Would be quite the upset.
  3. September 24, 2023 @ 8:53 am
    The league doesn’t want us to win(Xavier Bhoys ), because they assigned my youngest defender to ref a game at the same time👎🏾
  4. September 29, 2023 @ 8:32 am
    The format for bas cup should be changed. Every round should be random. Every round should be a random draw..... you will lose interest from the lower division teams, knowing after round 1 its lowest seed vs highest seed. It will soon be another playoff for division 1, rather then "bas cup"
  5. October 5, 2023 @ 5:08 pm
    The format change is a fair point. However, that only benefits the lower teams and is a huge detriment to the highest ranked teams. Imagine a random format where the two top Div A teams ended up playing each other in the first round? This round 1 game would end up being the Championship as the winner would likely cruise the rest of the way and it should never be like that; it should get harder each round (as you guys found out). Also, why play hard all year and win your division if there is no benefit in doing so because a random draw could negatively impact your chances? It is true that the later rounds of the Cup do typically just mimic a Div A playoff, but that is what everyone should expect because the best teams should be in Div A and the best teams should go far in the competition.

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