Soccer events making a return to Glenwood |

Soccer events making a return to Glenwood

Jon Mitchell

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Steve White used to put together men’s soccer tournaments that brought in dozens of teams from outside of the area. It’s safe to say he’s happy about his chance to do it again.

“We were able to do a good job with this last time,” said White, who serves as the boys and girls soccer coach at Glenwood Springs High School. “We’ve got a premier place to play soccer here, but it will take a lot of cooperation and patience for us to get it back to where it was.”

White would like the new series of men’s soccer tournaments to be just as successful as in previous years, when men’s teams from around Colorado and neighboring states converged on Gates Soccer Park south of Glenwood Springs. The new series will begin on June 14 and 15 on those same soccer fields with the Mount Sopris Cup tournament, the first of three tournaments that will make up the Tres Copa Series — or “Three Cups” Series — played over the course of the calendar year.

“There was a pretty good thing going here for a while,” said White, who ran past men’s soccer tournaments as a way to raise funds for the Colorado Mountain College program until the program was cut in 2006. “Now it’s a case where we have to take a lot of little steps to build it back up.”

The City of Glenwood Springs approached White, he said, and encouraged him to begin organizing tournaments again in hopes it would increase the number of out-of-town visitors and generate tourism revenue. White said that’s typically been an easy sales pitch to teams from Colorado’s Front Range or from Utah, that usually made the annual trip after their first visit.

“The area sells itself,” White said.

This series, however, gives successful teams an opportunity to return more than just annually.

The series begins with the tournament from June 14 to 15 at Gates. The tournament winner earns automatic entry into the second leg of the series, the Red Mountain Cup, which will be played July 18 to 20, also at Gates. The third tournament of the series will be the Colorado Mountain Cup, which will be held at Gates from Oct. 10 to 12, under the same winner-move-on parameters.

White admitted that this first tournament will likely involve anywhere from eight to 16 teams, with final turnouts to be determined within the next week. Plans, however, are already in the works for potential growth, which could possibly incorporate three Carbondale fields into the tournaments and increase the total team capacity to 36 teams.

Three teams with local players, along with teams involving out-of-area players, have already registered.

Also on the horizon for the soccer community is a potential rematch of local high school girls soccer All-Stars and a women’s professional team, the Colorado Pride. The Pride last year were associated with the Colorado Rapids. No time or date has been set for the exhibition match.

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