Lissek Wins Gold in Maccabiah Games
Colorado Rush alum and current Farleigh Dickinson goalkeeper Jacob Lissek had the opportunity to represent the USA at the Maccbiah games in Isreal where they won the Gold Medal and Jacob (front row in gray) was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament! The information below is an account from Jacob's father
The Maccabiah games is a world-wide Jewish sporting event with over 75+ countries represented, and over 8500 althletes and coaches. There were 1100 US athletes. This competition is the third largest world-wide sporting event behind the Olympics and the World Cup. It had more US athletes than the London Olympics.
Jacob was offered the opportunity to try out for the team last fall and did so in Philadelphia right after New Years. He was selected as one of two keepers along with 20 other guys between 19 and 26. Their goal was to win a gold medal, something Team USA had never done although they'd been in the gold medal game several times in the past. Their coach was Preston Goldfarb from Birmingham-Southern.
Aside from tryouts in Philly and LA, the players and coaches did not get together or practice until they all arrived in Israel in early July for 2 weeks of training and to discover Isreal.
There were 17 other countries in the Men's Open competition (Peru, S. Africa, Great Britain, Germany, Columbia, Chile, Canada, Argentina (def gold medal), Venezuela, Brazil, Australia, Israel, France, Mexico, Denmark and Uruguay). Team USA was in a group with Mexico, Uruguay and Denmark with the top 2 moving to quarter finals, then semi finals and then gold/silver and bronze/fourth places.
Team USA had some really terrific players who were fast, had great skill, feet and determination. Jacob and a gk from Penn split the games, with Jacob aligned to play in the gold medal game, should they make it. They scrimmaged Australia twice before the competition began
and beat them 3-0 and 2-0. The other keeper played against Uruguay, but they lost 0-1 and had their backs against the wall needing to win every game going forward. He played against Denmark and they won 5-0, although it was 0-0 at halftime.
They then played a strong Mexican team, which inlcuded a former 1st division mexican player and they won 3-2, solidifying their place in the quarter finals against Germany who had a former second division and two 3rd division players from the Bundesliga. Jacob played and they won 7-0 (again) although Germany had won their group over Great Britain, Columbia, S. Afrrica and Peru.
The semis were against Canada, who had won against Brazil. Team USA won 5-0 and Jacob played the second half of that game (it was 3-0 at halftime and the other keeper strained his quad). Mexico played and lost to Argentina, 2-3, setting the US up against Argentina for the gold medal game and Candada-Mexico for the bronze medal game (Canada won).
Jacob played and the US went up 1-0 early. A PK occurred about 10 minutes later and at half it was 1-1. The US again scored early in the half and were up 2-1. A series of hard play and lack of calls enticed a US midfielder to draw a straight red by elbowing an Argentinian and the US was down to 10 men at the 50 minute mark. Argentina pressed hard and after a flurry in the box, poked a goal to the corner to tie. The US and Jacob did not break for the rest of the match and the two 15 minute overtimes. He made a game-saving far post save to his left from a shooter at 20 yards out that broke free from the typically stingy US defense. Argentina took the first penalty kick and hit the post on a hard low shot. The first US player shot left and the keeper saved it. The next two shooters scored and it was 1-1 after 2 shots. The 3rd Argentina shooter shot to the side Jacob picked but clanged it off the cross bar and then the remaining shooters made their kicks and the US won 4-3 on PKs to seal the gold medal.
Jacob was awarded the tournament's outstanding goalkeeper as he only gave up 2 goals in 3.5 games and handled the barrage Argentina created.
Jacob heads back to FDU for his senior year on the 12th. They had a fantastic run last fall and have retooled some spots lost to a few graduates and where they needed upgrades. It will be a fun season to follow, again.