Mountain soccer league set to make its debut
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
NEW CASTLE, Colorado – Sensing a need for a competitive adult soccer league on the Western Slope, Steve White decided to take action.
So the former coach of the now-defunct Colorado Mountain College soccer program began gauging interest in such a venture. Soon after, the Colorado Mountain Soccer League was born.
With six men’s clubs spread throughout the western half of the state, the CMSL will begin play this week.
White describes the league’s level of play as high-caliber.
“It’s not semi-pro, necessarily,” he said, “but it’s an advanced adult league.”
The New Castle-based Colorado Mountain United will serve as the league’s local representative, playing its home games at V.I.X. Ranch Park.
The club features a number of high-level players, some with college experience. Some even suit up for college teams currently, and will play while home for the summer. A few roster spots belong to former Colorado Mountain College players who were left without a team after the school shut down its soccer program in January of 2009.
“There was a lost opportunity for some of these guys at the college level,” White said, “so this fills a need there.”
Other mountain communities with clubs include Steamboat Springs, Edwards, Vail and Craig. Two teams are based out of Steamboat.
If the league’s successful, expansion could result in future seasons.
The opportunity to travel and compete in an organized atmosphere is what White hopes will keep his new league afloat.
“I think there was an interest among local players to play in a more organized environment, and also to have interaction with other mountain communities,” he said.
The Roaring Fork Valley does boast less-formal soccer options. White hopes part of the CMSL’s allure lies in its organization and affiliations. The league is a member of both the Colorado State Soccer Association and the United States Adult Soccer Association.
“We’re trying to create a higher-level organization,” said White, who sits on the CSSA’s board.
The CMSL will get its official start at V.I.X. Ranch Park on Sunday, with games at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. Steamboat FC, Pepi’s Soccer Club (Vail), El Mexico (Craig) and El Tri Color (Steamboat Springs) will visit New Castle for the league’s opening day.
“It’s a big event,” said Pepi’s Soccer Club team manager Fred Ammer, who’s been associated with the Vail team since the early 1970s. “This is sort of my soccer life wish, that we do something like this. … I’m happy it’s happening.”
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