Soccer teams flock to CMC for tourney
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — There will be many happy returns for some of the men’s soccer teams playing at Gates Soccer Park this weekend. Just ask Steve White.
“There were guys who were from Saprissa [USA, a men’s soccer team out of Aurora] who told me that they used to come here when we held tournaments here every year,” said White, a longtime soccer coach and tournament organizer in the area. “He told me they really missed playing on these fields and were looking forward to coming back. That made me feel pretty good.”
That team is one of 11 that will take part in a men’s soccer tournament that’ll be on the soccer fields on the Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley campus for the second leg of the Tres Copa, or “Three Cups,” soccer tournament series. The tournament, dubbed as the Red Mountain Cup, will run today through Sunday on three of the soccer park’s five fields.
White, who was approached by employees of the City of Glenwood Springs about running soccer tournaments to attract out-of-town soccer players to the area, estimated that eight to 16 teams would register for the tournaments initially. So the turnout for this weekend, which includes three teams from the Roaring Fork Valley, was about what White had hoped for.
“Basically, we’re taking the first step right now,” he said.
Games take place at 9 a.m., 10;30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. today for pool play, which will continue with games at 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. Sunday. each participating team received a three-game guarantee.
Top finishers from pool play will move into the championship round, with semifinal games taking place at 12:30 p.m. Both the tournament title game and third-place game will take place at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Local teams include Colorado Mountain United — a throwback name from when CMC used to field an intercollegiate men’s soccer team — a Carbondale-based team named Pumas, and a valley-based team named RF La Liga.
But the big draw, White said, will be the teams that came from out of the area and even out of state to play. Among them are Athletico Espanol and Marcella out of New Mexico, Monaco and Tijuana out of Denver, the Cosmos out of Grand Junction, Olympicos out of Westminster, and FC United out of Fort Collins.
“We’ll have a pretty high-level field out there,” White said.
Admission is free of charge, but a concession stand will be available at the tournament. Proceeds from the concession stand will go to Glenwood Springs 8-year-old Parker Snow-Wilson, whose family is trying to raise funds to obtain a more mobile, offroad-type wheelchair after a birth defect left her unable to walk.
The three-tournament series will conclude in October with the Colorado Mountain Cup, which is scheduled to be held at Gates Soccer Park from Oct. 10 to 12.
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Montrose will pose a tough challenge for the Demons to win their home tournament. “They’re a team that every year has a well-disciplined program that executes, plays hard and is well-coached,” Glenwood coach Fred Heisel said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.” Game time is 2:30 p.m. at Spencer-Chavez Gymnasium at GSHS.