3 Steamboat Soccer Club squads grab championships in annual Mountain Tournament

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— The Steamboat Springs Soccer Club had five of its teams in the 25 championship games played Sunday at the 30th Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament. The home teams grabbed a trio of victories and suffered a pair of losses by the narrowest margins.

Steamboat dominated the oldest class — the boys and girls U19 division— during the four-day tournament with a pair of first-place finishes.

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Jan DePuy/courtesy

The Steamboat Springs U19 boys team captured a title at last weekend's Steamboat Springs Mountain Soccer Tournament.

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Jan DePuy/courtesy

The Steamboat Springs U19 girls team captured a title at last weekend's Steamboat Springs Mountain Soccer Tournament.

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Casey Barnett/courtesy

Steamboat's U14 boys soccer team captured a title at last weekend's Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament.

The Soccer Club’s U19 boys rebounded from its Thursday night opening loss, a 2-1 defeat to Red Hot FC, but recovered nicely, grabbing a win Friday against the Pumas, 2-1, and then beating Frontier Academy High School, 4-1, on Saturday. The back-to-back victories sent Steamboat to Sunday’s championship game, where they recorded a narrow 1-0 victory against Red Hot.

The Steamboat U19 girls — playing in a two-group field — had a similar road to the finals.

Steamboat managed a 1-1 draw in its Group A opener Thursday against the Riverside Renegades but improved to 2-0-1 on Saturday with a pair of lopsided wins against St. Thomas More Caveliers (3-0) and Hawks Dynamite (6-0).

Steamboat’s wins landed it a date with Group B’s champion, Real Colorado Edge, as the home team cruised to a 2-0 victory at Emerald to take the championship title.

Steamboat’s other winning side came from the U14 boys club, which delivered the victory in most impressive fashion. Steamboat ran a perfect 4-0 schedule during the weekend, winning its two Friday contests by a combined nine goals, then edging Indios, 1-0, on Saturday en route to a 2-1 championship clincher against Indios again.

“It was a phenomenal tournament from all perspectives,” Steamboat Soccer Club Director Rob Bohlmann said Monday. “With our boys sides getting into the finals and the U19s' and U14's wins, it creates some great energy as they head into the high school preseason" next month.

Steamboat’s U16 boys and U12 Navy Girls each made the finals in their respective classes but saw one-goal defeats on the tournament’s final day.

The U16 Steamboat boys went 1-1 on Friday, dropping their first contest to Colorado Ice, 1-0, before getting back on the winning track later in the day with a 2-0 shutout of Trebol Black. Steamboat won its group championship on Saturday, 2-1, but was again edged by Colorado Ice, 1-0, in Sunday’s finals.

The U12 Navy girls opened the weekend tournament a perfect 3-0, winning by a three-game combined score of 8-1. But Sunday’s game against NTX of Texas ended in a heartbreaker, as Steamboat saw a final-minutes free kick converted against it for a 3-2 loss.

“This year was definitely one of our most successful showings in a tournament as a club,” Steamboat Soccer Club technical director Hobey Early said. “In addition to that, it was one of the bigger tournaments ever, really.”

With the addition of some Thursday night contests, as well as an expanded format for the U11 squads with the option of playing 8-on-8 or the standard 11-on-11, the Mountain Soccer Tournament drew 147 teams in all, with representatives from Colorado’s mountain region and the Front Range, as well as teams from states such as Texas, Utah and Nebraska.

The Steamboat Soccer Club’s competitive teams return for the fall season the week of Aug. 11.

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

Comments

Scott Wedel 5 months ago

Congrats on the success.

Though, having U12s and U14s competing in such a tournament is precisely why a small county like Belgium can overwhelm the USA at the World Cup. They are focusing on youth player skills while we are focusing on competitions. It is such a waste to have the younger players traveling to play competitive soccer when they should be focusing on skills development. I watched parts of 6 games for U12 girls and I didn't see a single player without major deficiencies in ball control skills.

Belgium made a conscious effort to copy what is working for player development in Spain, Germany and the Netherlands and that has paid huge dividends. The first principle is to stop worry about youth team results and focus on player development. A player in an 11v11 game typically has the ball for less than 90 seconds.

From http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2014/jun/06/belgium-blueprint-gave-birth-golden-generation-world-cup-

One of the findings in the university research was that there was far too much emphasis on winning and not enough on development. There was also evidence to support the federation’s theory that 2v2, 5v5 and 8v8 were the best small-sided games to encourage children to practise the skills – dribbling and diagonal passing

Steamboat soccer needs to stop thinking about tournaments with full teams and instead focus on small sided games for player development. Maybe we could still attract tourist teams if we could recruit a recognized player development coach on how to maximize the effectiveness of small squad games.

Personally, I'd be far more likely to come to a SB tournament if there was a good player development coach than to play in a 11v11 tournament. There are plenty of useless tournaments, but very few good player development opportunities.

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Diego Girard 5 months ago

Can you tell me please about your experience in soccer or futbol? Do you play in college? pro team? This is a tournament. Practices is for development or the soccer academy happening this week in Steamboat.

You don't have room to talk about futbol.

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Scott Wedel 5 months ago

So the best you've got is to criticize me?

How about comparing local youth soccer development to effective programs?

How many tournaments did Messi, Xavi, Iniesta play in from ages 12-16? Or the generation of Belgium players? Not many because Barcelona and recently in Belgium, player development focuses on skills, not tournament games.

Meanwhile, Steamboat Soccer is participating in the 2014 President's Cup which is a 7 week tournament in August and Sept. So a weekly 7 hours of travel for a projected 6 minutes of ball possession.for the younger players.

And where is the local weekend 5v5 or 8v8 squad games for local players that want to improve skills? Oh, not organized by SB Soccer.

This is not just criticizing SB youth soccer. It is wrong for Colorado youth soccer to include U12 and U14s in such a tournament.

USA will learn the lesson when our huge advantage in number of girls playing and colleges with funded women's programs is no longer enough to win Women's World Cups. Not that any local player, or even any Colorado player is likely to be on the USA Women's team, but why waste so much effort?

We accept that football teams have Spring and Summer practice which is to work on skills development without competitive games and that includes relatively skilled high school and college players.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 5 months ago

Diego, You poor misguided man. You had the audacity to criticize the wizard. Did you notice he did not answer your question about his "experience" with the beautiful game. You know Scott, you have valid ideas from time to time but my goodness you can come across as arrogant and all knowing. As you promote yourself as the expert on youth soccer maybe you should be out there running the "5v5 and 8v8 games for local players that want to improve their skills." FUN FACT: ON www.steamboattoday.com there are 9 articles showing commentary. Scott Wedel is a contributor on 7 of 9. He knows what is best for all, especially why youths should participate in sports. Every one of them should have one focus only. Becoming a pro. And exactly how many of those youths that Scott so desperately believes should be in training academies have any chance of being a pro? Heaven forbid some would want to enjoy playing games, travelling with friends and family and just enjoying the joys of competition. Learning how to win with humility and lose with dignity. Why yes, if a particular youth believes he or she would like to play soccer at the highest level, then by all means they should find the appropriate training which would entail more touches of the ball, more specific training and less full field games. So if a few Steamboat athletes have that potential should the community disband youth soccer the way it currently is to cater toward the few. What youth soccer player wouldn't want the opportunity to participate in the Gothia Cup in Sweden, Schwan's USA cup in Minnesota, playing in a tournament at Disneyworld. That's what the majority of the kids should be enjoying, not worrying if they will be one of the 23 to make the USMNT or USWNT. You are correct Scott to say that our national teams to get better need to identify our Messi's, our Robben's, our Klose's (not Suarez's LOL) and give them the proper training but you tell me how many of the players on the 147 teams that played in Steamboat are Messi, Xavi, Iniesta types. My guess is kids from participating teams communities that might be that good are already training at the higher developmental level if that is their desire. Hey Scott, are you aware that the MLS has training academies?

In 2007, MLS created the Youth Development Initiative, encouraging clubs to field youth teams. In 2012, Garber said the league’s budget for youth academies exceeded $20 million. MLS wants kids to dream of playing pro soccer in America, especially for teams in their own backyard. Any teen living within a 75-mile radius of Gillette Stadium is eligible for the Revolution’s youth team. There’s one caveat: Players must choose between this and competing for their high schools.

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Scott Wedel 5 months ago

Dan,

As an 8 year old, I play in the first U9 league in Northern California when there were only 8 teams. And I've followed the sport since then. But my history should be far less relevant than the ideas in my posts. On that topic:

I'll acknowledge that player development of super stars isn't really that relevant to SB youth soccer. But the drop off in youth participation from the fun U8 and U10s should matter. They lose 50% to 75% of the participants from younger local fun (and skill development) teams to competitive traveling teams.

I also note from the 3 months I spent in Europe that most people participate in the sport by playing 5v5 or such in the park. Just like basketball in our city's playgrounds is far more often played 3 on 3 half court than 5 on 5 full court.

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john bailey 5 months ago

aarrghh , so true Pat , and we are worse than my Cubbies..........

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