Desna Soccer Club to host annual Federal Way festival

Competitors vie for control of the ball during a soccer game at the annual Desna Cup event in years past. The event hosts tournaments of soccer and volleyball and will include a bike ride this year.  - Mirror file photo
Competitors vie for control of the ball during a soccer game at the annual Desna Cup event in years past. The event hosts tournaments of soccer and volleyball and will include a bike ride this year.
— image credit: Mirror file photo

The seventh annual Desna Cup is looking for ways to help people across the globe.

The event is a soccer and volleyball tournament and cultural festival. This year, Leo and Veronika Lisitsyna partnered with their friends at Velo Hungry and Rainier Riders Bicycle Club to include a cycling event.

The cycling event has three route options, a seven mile ride along the BPA trail, a 21 mile ride to Redondo and back or a 41 mile ride. Registration fees for the cycling event are $10 for individuals or $15 for a family of three.

Proceeds from the event will go to Mission Possible to fund orphanages in former Soviet Union countries, said Leo Lisitsyna.

Registration for the eight soccer teams participating is closed, but people can still register for volleyball teams. Twenty teams will compete in A or B groups. A $500 grand prize will be given to the winning A group and $300 to the winning B group.

The event will also host a clothing drive to benefit poor villages in Africa. People can donate clothes on the behalf of certain teams, and the team with the most donations will win prizes, Leo Lisitsyna said.

“That’s how we help people,” he said.

The event begins with live music at 7 p.m. on Aug. 15 at Saghalie Park and continues at noon on Aug. 16 with an opening ceremony featuring cultural dances, said Veronika Lisitsyna.

“It brings a lot of nations together,” Leo Lisitsyna said.

Sports tournaments will begin at 1 p.m. on Aug. 16. There will also be food, vendors advertising their businesses, more live music and activities for kids, including inflatable bounce houses. Prizes from local businesses will also be raffled off.

The goal of the event is to bring the community together, the couple said.

“It’s very important for us to live together,” Leo Lisitsyna said.

With at least 14 distinct languages spoken throughout Federal Way, the event promotes cultural awareness and teaches people that, despite cultural differences, people share commonalities, Leo Lisitsyna said.

“It connects people and lets them know they are not alone,” he said. “This is a community, and this is how we are supposed to live.”

It is also a way for the couple to share their Christian faith with the community, Leo Lisitsyna said.

The city and the event’s host of volunteers have gathered behind the idea of community building by supporting the event, the couple said.

“We can do everything with the help of everybody,” Veronika Lisitsyna said.

But one of the biggest challenges remains getting people “from the computer to the field,” Leo Lisitsyna said.

The event planners have to constantly be thinking of new things to add each year to attract the community.

Last year, the event drew about 4,500 people, Leo Lisitsyna said.

“We are always hoping for more,” he said.

“But, who knows,” his wife added.

Saghalie park is located at 33914 19th Ave. SW in Federal Way.

For more information or to register for sports events, visit

Guests are advised to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets to sit on. Guests are also asked to carpool to help with parking.


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