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Thankgiving soccer tradition returns this weekend
They sport such monikers as Coyotes, Galaxy and United. And this weekend, they'll be joining forces for a long-standingThanksgiving tradition.
For the first time, the 2013 event will include metro select teams which have previously had to pass on the tournament because of regularly-scheduled matches which have been eliminated this year by BC Soccer—one of the event sponsors along with Soccer Link, Fresh Slice Pizza and Hayden Diamond Bit Industries.
The presence of the select teams will certainly raise the overall skill-set at the tournament, but Richmond Girls' Soccer Association executive director Stewart MacPherson (co-chairing the tournament with Tania Webster) says the focus is, as always, on fun.
"Fun is always most important, and at an event like this it's a great opportunity for kids to play out of their usual positions," he says.
Interest in the tournament has never been greater, with 18 more girls' teams participating than in the 2012 event.
"That's a huge increase," says MacPherson. "And we've got plenty of out-of-town participation from towns like Penticton, Kelowna and Powell River."
MacPherson has been scrambling to find enough officials for every game, with 143 full-sized matches (11 per side) and 48 eight-a-side games Saturday alone. It means that every field in Richmond will be occupied.
Each team in the competitive under-12 to under-18 stream will be guaranteed at least three games, with finals to be played Sunday. The under-11 and under-12 teams will participate in four non-competitive 'festival' games with no scores being kept.
Richmond United continues to stand tall on the youth soccer pitch.
The defending provincial champions, Richmond under-18A improved to 4-0 following a 7-1 victory over North Vancouver in select division boys' play Saturday.
In other action, the under-18B team doubled Delta 4-2, the under-13s lost for the first time this season 1-0 to Burnaby, under-14s tied 1-1 with Delta and under-16s blanked Central City Breakers 5-0.
In girls' play, Richmond under-13s lost their first game in four 2-1 to Fraser Valley on Sunday, while under-15s lost 4-0 to Vancouver, under-16s tied Coquitlam Metro Ford 0-0 and under-18s lost 5-0 to Coquitlam Metro Ford.