Soccer in Illinois has a long and illustrious history. The State Cup dates back, in one guise or another, to 1909, when Campbell Rovers won the first competition. Back then, of course, they played in black and white.
More recently the competition has been dominated by some of Chicagos moost storied and gloried clubs: RWB Adria, CSK Waarta, AAC Eagles, and this evening's opponents, Vikings AA.
This year there are 58 teams registered, and whilst the bulk of them obviously come from the Chicagoland area, there are still from down state and out West that could provide anyone with an interesting challenge.
Playing in Chicago's National Soccer League should not mark Vikings down as underdogs in anyway. Last year, NSL sides dominated the competition, with three teams reaching the semifinals, culminating in an all-NSL final, where CKS Warta beat Gazelle SC for the title.
The NSL is a super tough league, with many players and clubs who could more than hold their own in a the UPSL or NPSL, or indeed the USL. That they chose not to is more an indictment of the infrastructure of US soccer than anything else. But this is not the time or place for that discussion.
So tonight, bring your chairs, bring your bug spray, but most importantly bring your voices. We're going to need everyone to pull for the Super Green Army on this one!