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iPhone Archive: 125 Years, One Trophy

When I visited SBV Vitesse in the winter of 2017, the Arnhem-based club were celebrating their 125th anniversary. Since 1892, the club have mostly hovered somewhere around the middle of the table in the top divisions in the Netherlands while making a name for themselves in player development.

They're now perhaps best known for having an unofficial partnership with Chelsea, which mostly involves taking players who have no chance of ever playing for the English giants on loan.

As the club nears 130 years of existence, their trophy case stands remarkably barren. In fact, in more than a century of play, Vitesse have lifted just one: the 2016-17 KNVB Cup that I'm holding here.

I'm not sure what's more surprising: that a club can exist for this long and win only one trophy or that when I asked to hold it, they just sort of shrugged and handed it to me.

The club won this title partially thanks to the Chelsea partnership and several Concacaf standouts. EPL loanee Matt Miazga started the 2-0 final win over AZ, while future MLSers Eloy Room and Kelvin Leerdam helped the American keep a clean sheet.

Vitesse first qualified for the KNVB Cup final in 1912, but had to wait 105 years for their first victory. In that time period, they lost both of their other cup finals.

Will it take another century for the Dutch team to capture a second title? Maybe, but in 10 days they head back to De Kuip in Rotterdam to face 19-time champions Ajax with another trophy on the line.

Two trophies in five years would qualify as a golden era for the club after zero in 125.


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