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Locals enjoy overseas soccer tournaments

Jon Mitchell
jmitchell@postindependent.com

Brad Jordan couldn’t be happier with the kind of experiences that the soccer players in his program got this summer.

It’s easy to see why. After all, not a lot of bad can come out of being a young soccer player and getting to play against players in another country, right?

“Not with this group,” said Jordan, the director of coaching for the Glenwood Springs-based Scandia United Soccer Academy. “This group was wonderful. They’re all great kids.”

It took — and always does take — a great effort to get the kids involved in Scandia United to play in overseas tournaments. This past June, the organization took a group that included nine girls from the Glenwood Springs area to play in soccer tournaments in Iceland, Germany, Denmark and Sweden.

It was a three-week trek that spanned from June 27 to July 21. It included tournaments such as the Gothia Cup, an event in Sweden that included close to 1,700 soccer teams from 70 countries around the world. All total, the girls who went played in 48 shortened games during the three-week trek. During that stint, Scandia United’s teams finished with an impressive combined record of 28-15-5.

And they fared well, also. The under-14 girls team that played in the tournament played in the final of the age-group B Bracket and, although the team lost, it was the only team from the United States that reached that level of competition.

“That says a lot for what these girls were able to do,” Jordan said.

Jordan, along with Wayne Smith, is also a coach with the Glenwood Springs Soccer Club. Also working with them are Kevin Devitt of Kauai, Hawaii, and Soren Jensen, who coordinates from Denmark.

The four have been working together and coordinating international soccer trips since 2005, but it wasn’t until this past year that they were able to form Scandia United. And the four have been able to make the international trips about more than just soccer, working in time for sightseeing and cultural interactions.

The girls from Glenwood who were able to take part in that experience included Natasha Jordan, Nina Scruton, Mae Langs-Burns, Quincy Dollahan, Bailey Cox, Claudia Hirons, Julia Muhall, Malia Baltzer and Libby Tharp, an 11-year-old from New Castle.

““It was great to have the opportunity to work with these girls,” Jordan said.


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