Arizona trip kicks off outdoor tryouts
Phoenix tournament prepares Impact U14 girls for summer soccer
By: Jeff Hansen
| Posted: Saturday, Mar 16, 2013 06:00 am
Last month’s trip to Arizona gave the indoor Impact U14 girls a head start on tryouts for the outdoor season.
At the 34th annual Presidents’ Day Tournament in Phoenix, the St. Albert Soccer Association squad tied one match and lost three.
“The tournament was the best I could find during this time frame. I wanted to see where the bar was set,” said Rob Bourbonnais, the Impact U14 head coach. “It will have an impact on the way we train this summer and the level we expect to reach.”
The Impact tied Maplebrook SA Rush Premier (No. 2 in Minnesota; No. 421 nationally) 1-1 and lost 5-0 to the NSA Rockets (No. 2 in Illinois; No. 63 nationally), the tournament winners, and La Roca FC La Premier FD (No. 2 in Utah; No. 102 nationally) in bracket play and 2-0 to Pacific Northwest 98 Maroon (No. 4 in Washington; No. 185 nationally) in the consolation A playoffs.
“I’m very encouraged because we were playing against the best; 11 of the 17 other teams are rated number one or two in their state,” Bourbonnais said. “The girls played the type of soccer in the fourth game as a coach I want to see and that is important. I have to be able to evaluate the game regardless of the result.
“Overall, I was extremely happy with the effort level of the girls in each of the games. From a technical perspective a number of the Impact girls could play on the team we played against and the other will get there through commitment and training.”
St. Albert Soccer Association head coach Graham Wood was on hand to assess the level of soccer and help the coaching staffs of the Impact girls and the U14 boys’ team.
“As a coach it was very valuable to me to have Graham at the tournament,” Bourbonnais said. “I will sit down with Graham and review the game footage and compare notes. We will think about adjustments to the team’s season training plan for the upcoming outdoor year.”
Bourbonnais will now see what he has to work with during tryouts for girls born in 1999 before declaring his Tier 1 roster in the Edmonton Interdistrict Youth Soccer Association.
“I’m looking to improve the team (but) I will have to wait and see what kind of talent shows up at the tryouts – I can’t control that,” said the former St. Albert Ranger and NAIT Ooks player. “I do believe (SASA) Impact offers the best overall opportunity at the club level to develop as a soccer player. In the last few seasons we have been seeing more and more people look to SASA as a club choice at all age levels.”
CORNER KICKS: The U14 boys, coached by Steve Houle, lost 4-0 to Real Colorado National 98/99 and 8-0 to the Rush Soccer (SPI) Selects of Colorado and recorded a scoreless draw against Rio SC 99 of New Mexico in bracket play and in the consolation E playoffs lost 7-2 to Miners FC El Paso 99 of Texas.