Preparing for the Approaching Storm [Tournament]

As of this morning, the countdown timer on our website reads 7 days, 7 hours, 8 minutes, 29 seconds until the kick-off of the first games of our 8th annual Tri-City Storm Youth Soccer Tournament. A week to go. With each tick of the clock, the final preparations are being made.

The field crews: hard at work making sure the pitches are in their best shape—measuring and mowing and lining, often at the expense of relocating practices and scrimmages to other local fields. We’re grateful to the Fargo and Moorhead Park Districts for their cooperation and dedication.

Moorhead Fields

The Moorhead fields are looking great leading up to the tournament.

The parents: finishing up the forms, taking off the hours at work, washing player uniforms, (and the infinite other things parents do for their kids). They’re checking the oil, anti-freeze, tire-pressure, and all of those other things we’re supposed to check before long trips. They’re doing the trench-work for their children to enjoy our tournament (and we’re so grateful for that!).

The Pepsi fields freshly mowed as the ground crew starts lining new fields and setting up goals.

The Pepsi fields freshly mowed as the ground crew starts lining new fields and setting up goals.

The coaches: fine tuning their teams, tweaking formations and line-ups, creating session plans filled with shadow play, set-piece work, and plenty of scrimmage time. With some final attention dedicated to those crucial elements of the game—the shape of the back-line, switching the ball, and of course, finishing—they’ll lead the way.

And finally, the players: getting the extra touches on the ball, getting mentally prepared, and hopefully getting the proper nutrition! We’re excited to have so many young athletes making their way out to these fields to compete and have fun in our tournament. We can’t wait to see all those step-overs, slide-tackles, diving-saves, and of course, all those goals.

Medals just arrived for the U9/10 players!

Medals just arrived for the U9/10 players!

Here at the office, if you asked, we might admit to weathering a storm of our own. It’s no small task putting on this tournament—scheduling 265 games for 150 teams from all around the region, coordinating referees to fill 667 openings, all the paperwork (oh, the paperwork!), calling the Dippin’ Dots guy… Yes, you read correctly—there will be Dippin’ Dots. But we don’t fear the storm here. We welcome it. Good luck to everyone in your final preparations and we can’t wait to see you in a week!

College Recruiting Seminar Snap Shot

by Ben Schneweis

TC Storm will be offering College Recruiting Seminars for boys and girls on March 8th and 9th respectively. As those events approach, I’d like to offer just a snapshot of the presentation we’ll put on before we get to the Q & A with a panel of college coaches.

We live in a part of the country that isn’t known for consistently producing top soccer talent, so much of the recruiting process often falls on the recruit. Recognizing and embracing that is a huge part of the recruiting process. TC Storm works hard to provide college showcase playing opportunities for its older teams, but not every player gets contacted by colleges that are the right fit for them at those events. Having grown up near here (Grand Forks), and having recruited athletes to play soccer at two local institutions (North Dakota State University and Concordia College), I’d like to share some thoughts on the experiences I’ve had as a college recruited and as I’ve worked to help TC Storm players that I have coached find the right school. This is just a brief look at some of the information we’ll share at our recruiting events in March.

THINGS TO DO:

TALK TO YOUR CLUB COACH
The first and most important thing you can do is have an honest, open discussion with your club coach about what level of college soccer is right for you. I have seen far too many players set their sights too high (usually NCAA DI) only to realize late in their high school career that that isn’t going to happen and they are too far behind in the recruiting process to find the right school and program for them.

START THE PROCESS EARLY
It’s ideal to give yourself as much time as possible. Starting to look and think about college as a sophomore, as hard as that may be, is a great idea. Parents: I understand how difficult it can be to get your son or daughter to think about college at 15, but taking them to a few schools and talking about college is a great way to get things moving early. Visiting/touring colleges as you travel with your family or for soccer tournaments is a great way to get them to start thinking about it.

THINGS TO NOT DO:

SEND MASS EMAILS:
Just as you would want a personalize email or letter from a coach, it’s important that you personalize your communication to each coach/school. Take the time to spell the name of the coach correctly! It’s the little things that matter.

BE VAGUE:
It’s super important to provide specifics when you contact college coaches. Vague, general emails leave much to be desired. Whether you’re introducing yourself to a coach for the first time with video or emailing them to let them know where and when you’ll be playing at during your next event, provide as many specifics as possible. Let them know why you’re interested in their school and program, and if you’re emailing about event, provide field numbers, game times, jersey numbers and colors, what position(s) you typically play, and any other important details about your games.

Click here for more info on the College Recruiting Seminars!

Ben Schneweis serves as the Technical Director for TC Storm Soccer Club. He is also the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at Concordia College and has previously worked as an assistant women’s coach at North Dakota State University and the assistant men’s and women’s coach at Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY. He also has extensive club soccer coaching experience at all ages as well as administrative experience with clubs in North Dakota and Kentucky.

Presidents Cup is Great Experience for TC Storm

This past weekend six Tri-City Storm teams traveled to Sioux Falls, South Dakota to compete in the 3rd Annual Presidents Cup at the Sanford Field House.  Representing the girls side were the U12, U13, U14 and U16 girls teams, while the U14 and U16 boys rounded out the remaining Tri-City teams.  As expected, the tournament featured top quality competition from around the region across all age groups.  At the conclusion of the weekend, three Tri-City teams were crowned champs, while another narrowly missed out on a top place finish.  Overall, the quality of soccer on display was encouraging from all the teams and for the most part the results followed suit.  Continuing reading to see how each team fared at the Presidents Cup.

We’ll start things off with the three championship sides – The U13 girls, U14 girls and the U14 boys.  The U13 girls confidently swept aside the competition this weekend as they won all four of their games by a combined score of 10-1.  The lone goal they conceded came in the championship game, which they won 3-1 against a strong Minot Magic U13 girls team.  Team members: Madeline Etter, Alyssa Heacox, Lauren Hodny, Sara McMullen, Annie Mund, Breanna Nelson, Emily Post, Molly Sundbom and Gabby Tunheim.

The U14 girls also showcased some fantastic soccer throughout the tournament and ultimately earned a first place finish.  The girls played in a five team bracket where they played each team once and the team with the most points after the four games would be declared champion.  Over the four games they recorded two wins and two draws while maintaining a positive six-goal differential.  Their record gave them 8 points over the weekend and meant that they edged out both Dakota Alliance teams who each finished with 7 points. Team members: Megan Barnick, Brooke Boyer, Kylie Englund, Sophie Gjesdahl, Ashley Hansen, Abigail Hoff, Anna Lambertz, Niesha Mancini, Haley Peters and Kendall Swanson.

Rounding out the first place finishers was the U14 boys, who earned a trip to the championship game after recording two wins and a draw in group play and then beating DUSC 3-1 in the semi-final game.  The boys showed some great individual and team play at times while they scored 11 goals and conceded only six.  In the championship game they came up against Dakota Alliance Spitfire who they had previously lost to during group play.  The boys found themselves down by three goals right away, but they showed their mental strength by battling back and scoring four unanswered goals.  After 36 intense minutes of soccer the boys had claimed first place.  Team members: Alhasan Alomar, Gabe Borowicz, Conner Bosch, Jarin Entzi, Casey Haldis, Camerson Hoff, Ethan Olson, Jack Olson and Tate Simpson.

Also playing in a championship game were the U16 girls.  Overall they had a great weekend as they faced some quality competition from around the region.  Two wins and 10 goals in group play helped earn the girls a spot in the championship game.  In the final they came up against a very strong BHR U16 girls team and were beat by a score of 1-5.  Team members: Cory Duffield, Ruth Hegstad, Madison Lucas, Jensen Odegaard, Molly Sarafolean, Allie Stover, Destiny Valdez, Peighten Watson and Lauren Zanotti.

The U12 Girls had some unfortunate results against quality competition but still showed some great signs of improvement. They tied their first game at one goal a piece, but then narrowly lost their next two games by scores of 2-4 and 1-3.  If the ball had bounced a little differently maybe the results would’ve been different, but that is beside the point.  What is important is that the team improves and learns from the experience of playing against quality opponents.  Team members: Mikayla Barnick, Maria Borowicz, Ally Peters, Chloe Strom, Sydney Tweten, Liana Ulness, Olivia Watson, Amber Weibye and Maria Zanotti.

This weekend proved to be troublesome for the U16 boys.  One look at their results and you see that they had three losses, but that doesn’t paint the whole picture.  The boys were unlucky to lose all three games by one measly goal, 3-4, 3-4 and 0-1.  A single decision can be the difference between winning and losing these games and so the boys shouldn’t be discouraged with the way they played.  Surely they have positives to take away from the weekend, as well as some areas that need to be refined.  Team members: Bassel El-Rewini, Noah Gjesdahl, Hunter Maloy, Brian Rapp, Matthew Russell, Devon Thompson and Trey Waltz.

Overall the Presidents Cup in Sioux Falls did not disappoint as all the Tri-City Storm teams that were in attendance faced some really good competition and displayed moments of great soccer.  Win or lose, what’s important is that the kids continue to develop as individuals and as teams.  Great job to all the Tri-City Storm teams that made the trip this weekend!  Now its time to get back on the training field and continue to get better.

Minot and Bemidji Join TC Storm in Weekend Jamboree

The Tri-City Storm Select teams are a little over three weeks into their season and this weekend they experienced their first competitive action of the season as Minot and Bemidji soccer clubs traveled to Fargo to compete in a futsal jamboree.  Thirty-two games were played over the weekend at the newly renovated Soccer Central, which was a fantastic way to break in the new mezzanine overlooking the field.  The arena was packed from nine in the morning till ten at night on Saturday and for most of the day on Sunday as friends and family cheered on their respective teams.

There was some fantastic soccer on display throughout the weekend.  Glimpses of individual brilliance and inspiring passing movements were routinely counteracted with fantastic defensive stands as players showcased their skills.  Countless games were decided within the last few minutes as teams were generally very evenly matched.

Overall, we couldn’t be happier with how the weekend went, as there was some fantastic soccer played, great determination and sportsmanship shown by all teams.  The jamboree was a great way to allow the players to show off what they have been learning and test themselves against some quality competition.  We would like to thank Minot Soccer Club and Bemidji Soccer Club for making the trek to Fargo and helping make this weekend such a great event!  We look forward to doing this again!

Select teams continue with their training this week as they further their development and prepare for some upcoming events.  In February several TC Storm teams will be heading to Sioux Falls for the Presidents Cup and Bismarck for the Frosty’s Cup.

Check out some photos from the Saturday morning games below.

 

Goal Fest in Sioux Falls

This weekend six TC Storm teams participated in the 7th Annual Indoor Winter Games, hosted by Dakota Alliance Soccer Club at the state-of-the-art Sanford Fieldhouse in Sioux Falls, SD.  All six teams came out of the weekend with positive goal differentials; four teams made it to the championship game; and three of those teams ended the weekend as the top team in their respective divisions.  Over the course of the weekend TC Storm teams scored a combined 124 goals and conceded only 55 for a positive goal differential of 69.  Congratulations to all teams for their effort this weekend and to the U16 Girls Black, U16 Boys Black and the U18 Boys Black for winning their respective divisions!

The U16 Girls Black beat DASC in the championship game.

The U16 Girls sent two teams down for the tournament and both teams had strong performances over the weekend.  During group play the U16 Girls Black scored 17 goals and only conceded two en route to two wins and a draw and a trip to the championship game.  In the final they came up against DASC who they had previously tied 1-1 during group play.  The championship game was a different story however, as the U16 Girls Black prevailed by a score of 3-1.  The U16 Girls Gold team also had a strong weekend, but unfortunately weren’t able to overcome a loss in their opening game in order to advance to the final.  They lost their first game against DASC, but bounced back and won their next two games by a combined score of 11-0 to finish the weekend with 13 goals scored and 7 allowed.

U16 Girls Black: Cory Duffield, Ruth Hegstad, Tabatha Kelsch, Madison Kramer, Emily Leier, Madison Lucas, Jensen Odegaard, Molly Sarafolean and Allie Stover.

U16 Girls Gold: Abigail Hagen, Emily Heinrich, Andrea Kramer, Ashley Matter, Rachel Nguyen, Brianna Schaub, Destiny Valdez, Megan Zander and Lauren Zanotti.

U16 Boys Black after defeating DASC 6-4 in the championship.

The U16 Boys also sent a couple teams to the tournament.  The Black team drew their first game against Minot at 3 goals a piece, but came back dominate in their next two games winning by a combined score of 14-5 to earn a trip to the championship game.  In the championship they came out on top after beating DASC by a score of 6-4.  They finished the weekend with 23 goals scored and 12 allowed.  The U16 Boys Gold won their opening game, tied their second and needed a win in their third group stage game in order to advance to the championship game, but unfortunately they couldn’t edge out DASC and lost narrowly by a score of 3-5.

U16 Boys Black: Jonathan Deitz, Noah Gjesdahl, Joseph Grundstrom, Jacob Reinholz, Kyle St. Germain and Natenael Teshager.

U16 Boys Gold: TJ Anderson, Dawson Breyer, Matthew Nemer, Brian Rapp, Matthew Russell, Devon Thompson and Trey Waltz.

The U18 Boys also split into two teams for the weekend and each team represented the club fantastically.  After the final group stage games had been played both teams remained undefeated with three wins a piece and set themselves up for an all Tri-City Storm final.  The Black team finished the group stage with 24 goals scored and only two goals allowed, while the Gold team tallied 21 goals and allowed only 11.  The championship game was a thrilling affair as both teams know each other in and out.  Action was back and forth and both teams demonstrated great ability and in the end the Black team came out on top by a score of 6-5.

Both U18 Boys teams after their thrilling championship game.

U18 Boys Black: Braden Axtman, Caleb Dachtler, Sam Gess, Isaac Judisch, Ben Olson, Benjamin Schleicher and Aaron Syvrud.

U18 Boys Gold: Aaron Beyer, Justin Foslie, Richard Lancaster, Aronah Mukhtar, Nick Nguyen and Austin Peterson.

Again, congratulations to all Tri-City Storm teams this weekend!  The players represented their teams and club admirably and really showcased some great attacking soccer.  Great job to everyone who played this weekend and let’s keep it going throughout the rest of the winter season!

High School Girls Spring Fling Tourney is a Hit

Last weekend Tri-City Storm Soccer Club hosted the first ever High School Girls Futsal Tournament in Fargo.  8 different teams from Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo and Grand Forks competed in the 3-day event held at Soccer Central.  The tournament was a great opportunity for North Dakota girls to get ready for their upcoming season and for the Minnesota girls to push themselves and continue to improve.

Moorhead Matrix (black) vs. Shanley Oak Grove (red)

The 8 teams were split into two groups of 4, with the top two teams from each group advancing to a semi-final game.  After playing games Friday night and all day Saturday Shanley Oak Grove, Moorhead Matrix, the Samurai Thunder Birds and Fargo North found themselves in the semi-finals with a chance to advance to the championship game.

Hannah Riveland from Moorhead Matrix dribbles past her defender.

In the first semi-final game Moorhead Matrix came up against Fargo North.  The game was back and forth the entire time as both teams were evenly matched.  In the end Fargo North squeaked by Matrix by a score of 6-5.  They would face the winner of the second semi-final game between the Samurai Thunder Birds and Shanley Oak Grove.  The Samurai Thunder Birds came out strong and had a firm grasp on the game.  After the 40 minute game, the Samurai Thunder Birds had earned a spot in the championship game by winning 4-0.

Karissa Sanchez of Moorhead Matrix rips a shot on goal in the consolation game.

If the games weren’t exciting enough already, they were about to get a lot more intense in the 3rd place game and championship game.  Moorhead Matrix took on Shanley Oak Grove in a very competitive consolation game.  The game was close the whole way, but the Matrix were able to take advantage of their chances and ran away with the game at the end by a score of 5-2.

Fargo North (green) took on the Samurai Thunder Birds (white) in the championship game.

In the championship game Fargo North came up against the Samurai Thunder Birds.  The two teams met earlier in the weekend with the Samurai Thunder Birds winning comfortably 8-3.  However, this time it was a different story.  The game was very intense with the action back and forth the entire time.  Both teams spent the weekend scoring goals for fun, but that mentality changed as both defenses tightened up to keep the ball out of their net.  After 40 minutes, the teams were deadlocked at 2 goals a piece, which meant that overtime would be needed to determine the winner.  The teams came out determined to score the winning goal and the Samurai Thunder Bird’s own Allie Stover did just that to claim the championship by a score of 3-2.

No subs, no problem.  The Samurai Thunder Birds with their championship trophy. Congrats girls!

Overall, the weekend was a great experience as the girls got to showcase their skills in a very fun and friendly environment.  We were so happy that so many teams were able to join us for this event and we would like to thank the Grand Forks teams for coming down to participate in this inaugural event.  Thank you to all the teams, players, parents and volunteers who helped make the first ever Spring Fling Futsal Tournament a success!  We hope you all had as much fun as we did.

 

 

Inaugural Spring Fling Futsal Tournament Kicks Off

This weekend high school girls soccer players from the FM area as well as Grand Forks will compete in the Spring Fling Futsal Tournament — The first ever high school girl’s futsal tournament held at Soccer Central in Fargo.  The tournament will help the North Dakota high school players prepare for their upcoming season and will also be a solid way to keep training and improving for those girls from Minnesota.  Futsal is a terrific way to help improve a player’s technique and decision making on the field as they are faced with less time and space when they have possession of the ball.  The first games will be played tonight with West Fargo Green facing off vs. Moorhead Matrix at 7pm and the Samurai Thunder Birds of Shanely taking on the girls from Fargo North at 8pm.

Games will be played all day Saturday starting at 9am and the last game kicks off at 7pm. Semi-final and championship games will be played on Sunday afternoon starting at 1pm.  Be sure to catch the championship game at 5pm on Sunday as the top two teams from the weekend will face off against one another.  We hope you will take some time this weekend and stop by Soccer Central to get a glimpse at some of the first competitive high school soccer action of the spring.  Soccer Central is located at 1401 5th Ave. N. Fargo.

Spring Fling Futsal Tournament Schedule:

  • Friday – 7pm – West Fargo Green vs. Moorhead Matrix
  • Friday – 8pm – Samurai Thunder Birds vs. Fargo North
  • Saturday – 9am – West Fargo Green vs. Shanley/Oak Grove
  • Saturday – 10am – Grand Forks Black Knights vs. Moorhead Matrix
  • Saturday – 11am – Grand Forks Knightmares vs. Fargo North
  • Saturday – 12pm – West Fargo White vs. Samurai Thunder Birds
  • Saturday – 1pm – West Fargo Green vs. Grand Forks Black Knights
  • Saturday – 3pm – Shanley/Oak Grove vs. Moorhead Matrix
  • Saturday – 4pm – West Fargo White vs. Samurai Thunder Birds
  • Saturday – 5pm – Grand Forks Black Knights vs. Shanley/Oak Grove
  • Saturday – 6pm – Grand Forks Knightmares vs. Samurai Thunder Birds
  • Saturday – 7pm – West Fargo White vs. Fargo North
  • Sunday – 1pm – Semi-Final 1
  • Sunday – 2pm – Semi-Final 2
  • Sunday – 4pm – 3rd/4th Place Game
  • Sunday – 5pm – Championship Game

Hub City Futsal Classic Recap

This past weekend Tri-City Storm teams traveled to Aberdeen, South Dakota to compete in the annual Hub City Futsal Classic.  The tournament was an exciting opportunity to play a different style of soccer with all the games played on basketball courts with futsal balls.  Overall, it was a fun weekend with lots of positives to take away as well as some things that teams need to work on.

Out of the 12 teams that participated, 4 of them made it to championship games. The U12 Girls Gold, U13 Boys Black and U15 Boys Black all claimed second place, while the U17 Boys Black went undefeated to earn the top spot.

The U12 Girls Gold put on a solid showing this weekend – 3 wins and a loss.

The U12 Girls Gold were runners up in their group scoring 21 goals and allowing only 9 en route to 3 wins and a loss.  The wins came against TC U11 Girls, Watertown U12 Girls and Mitchell Night Wings.  Their only loss came against eventual champions HCSC U11 Girls.  The girls showed some solid improvement from just a couple weeks ago and should be proud of their performances this weekend.  Team members: Saela Fredricks, Rukhsana Ghauri, Mya Helmer, Emily Jahner, Payton Lane, Briann Martinson, Emily Post, and Jenna Schroeder.

Also with a solid showing this weekend was the U13 Boys Black team who played in the top division of the U14 age group.  In the group stage they recorded 2 wins and one loss, which was enough to advance to the championship game.   The lone loss came against Minot Magic U14 Boys, while they beat the Renegades by a score of 3-2 and DASC U13 Spitfire 4-3.  In the championship game they again came up against Minot U14 Boys and again couldn’t quite figure out how to handle them falling short by a score of 5-2.  There certainly were a lot of positives to take away from their performances this weekend.  Team members: Alhasan Alomar, Josh Anderson, Conner Bosch, Cameron Hoff, Ethan Olson, Jack Olson, Tate Simpson, and Evan Reinholz.

U13 Boys Black after their championship game against Minot Magic U14 Boys.

The U15 Boys Black followed up their fine performance at the Frosty’s Cup with another great showing this weekend.  Playing in the top division of the U16 age group the boys earned one win, one tie and one loss during group play, which was enough to advance to the championship game.  They faced some great competition this weekend and were in a number of games that were separated by a single goal.  In their opening game they loss 4-3 to BFA/WYSA U16 Boys, before beating HCSC U16 Boys 3-2 and then drawing Minot Magic U16 Boys 3 goals apiece.  In the championship game they again came up against BFA/WYSA U16 Boys and again only a single goal separated them, falling just short by a score of 3-2 to earn second place.  Team members: TJ Anderson, Dawson Breyer, Brandon Kraenzel, Matt Russell, Devon Thompson, Trey Waltz and Cody Sather.

Rounding out the Tri-City finalist is the U17 Boys Black team who went undefeated through 4 games to earn the top spot in the top bracket of the U19 division.  Wins over SHFC, Minot Lightning, TC U17 Boys Gold, and ODP 98 Boys earned them the top spot while scoring 36 goals and only allowing 12.  Their toughest game of the weekend came against the other half of their team, the TC U17 Boys Gold, which ended in exciting fashion 6-5.  Team members: Aaron Beyer, Justin Froslie, Richard Lancaster, Austin Peterson, Aaron Syvrud, Grant Zastoupil and Thomas Schroeder.

Tri-City also had two players guest playing with Minot clubs that made it to championship games.  Max Hodny played in the U10 age group with Minot Magic U10 Boys who went undefeated and earned the top spot in their bracket.  Max showcased his skills scoring multiple goals and setting up even more for others throughout the weekend.  Jensen Waltz played up an age group with the Minot Magic U12 Boys.  They made it to the championship after recording two wins and a loss, but fell just short in the final game by a score of 4-0.  Jensen was a jack of all trades during the tournament as he played in attack, defense and even goalkeeper.

Great job to all Storm players and teams this weekend!  Playing on basketball courts, which are smaller than what the teams are used to was a great challenge as players had to play and think quicker.  There are a lot of positives to take from this weekend and to apply into the future as the players continue to improve and develop.  Congrats to all players and teams that participated this weekend in the Hub City Futsal Classic!

Futsal is in the Air

People are starting to become exposed to soccer in many different shapes and forms as the sport continues to gain popularity in the States.  One variation of the sport that is becoming increasingly popular (especially in the bitter cold of Fargo, ND) is futsal.  While it has only recently been gaining support in the States, in some parts of the world futsal is looked on as the pinnacle of soccer as opposed to playing 11v11 outdoors.  Many of you are probably asking yourself what exactly is futsal and why has it been gaining so much respect lately?

Individual technical ability is crucial with the limited space and time in futsal.

When translated from Portuguese, the word “futsal” means “hall football.”  I imagine it started out something like this.  Futsal is played 5-a-side in tight quarters which forces players to think and act quickly and precisely.  Futsal uses a slightly smaller and heavier ball, which bounces less encouraging more play with the ball at the player’s feet instead of bounces and popping up in the air.  Many professional players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Xavi, Ronaldhino, Neymar and many others have attributed a large part of their success to playing futsal as a kid.

Ronaldo posing with his futsal ball and short shorts long before he became famous. As you can see he took very good care of his hair even at a young age.

Ronaldo was quoted in 2012 as saying, “During my childhood in Portugal all we played was futsal.  The small playing area helped me improve my close control, and whenever I played futsal I felt free. If it wasn’t for futsal, I wouldn’t be the player I am today.”  That is high praise from arguably one of the best players in the world.  Some of the leading soccer nations in the world such as Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Germany and Italy place a large emphasis of youth development on futsal and is a leading contributor to their success in developing highly technical and creative soccer players.

The lack of space and time on the ball forces players to think quicker and be more purposeful in their decision making.  You see far less of kids kicking the ball aimlessly down the field and instead you see kids trying to dribble out of pressure or find the open teammate with a pinpoint pass.  Just like playing outdoor, there are no walls for kids to blast the ball into with the hopes of it getting around the defender or finding a teammate.  Creative players with superior technical ability will shine in futsal as they are better equipped to deal with the lack of space and time.  Futsal is played 5-a-side and because of this kids develop both sides of their game quicker.  There really aren’t set positions as everyone is expected to defend and attack as a team.  If a player gets forward in attack then a teammate must drop in and provide cover.  Its not uncommon to see all 4 defenders and goalkeeper in their own half only to win the ball and counter and score a goal at the other end in a matter of a couple of seconds.  Players gain a better understanding of how to support each other and read the defense as space is always at a premium and the game moves so much faster in futsal.

The best futsal teams in the world draw large crowds as fans are entertained by some truly unbelievable skills, tricks and goals.

With all of these reasons its easy to see why futsal is becoming more and more popular and is slowly starting to replace the typical indoor soccer game with boards.  We at Tri-City are lucky enough to have access to Soccer Central, our very own futsal facility and the benefits of it are starting to show.  All of our teams go inside to play futsal during the winter or when weather isn’t on our side and you can see the improvement in the players’ technical abilities because of it.

As our Winter Select Season comes to a close we are looking to go out in style as 12 different teams from all age groups are traveling to Aberdeen, SD to participate in the Hub City Futsal Classic.  The tournament will be a good test for Storm teams as they have been inside playing futsal all winter and will now have a chance to showoff what they have learned.  Games are starting as early as 5:15 today with the U17 Boys Gold team in action versus Minot Lightning.  Games will be played all night Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday morning into the afternoon.  Stay up-to-date with how all the teams are doing by following TCStormSC on Twitter and Tri-City Storm Soccer Club on Facebook.  Good luck to all players and teams playing this weekend!

 

Strengthening Sense of Community Through Soccer

A Saturday afternoon full of soccer, friends and pizza — What more could you ask for? That’s what took place this past weekend as U8-U11 soccer players from Tri-City Storm Soccer Club and Lionheart Soccer Academy participated in a mini indoor jamboree at the Fargo Metro Rec Center.  Three Lionheart teams and two TC Storm teams took part in the exciting event that emphasized friendly competition in an encouraging environment.  The players were given plenty of opportunity to showcase their skills and have fun as all teams played a minimum of four, 12-minute games.  Coaches were present to handle substitutions and make sure everyone got equal playing time, but the kids were given the chance to challenge themselves, make mistakes and experience success all on their own.  Every team played their four games and then the top two teams participated in a championship game as all other players cheered them on from the sidelines.  After the final whistle was blown the players, parents and coaches celebrated by enjoying some pizza and some much needed refreshments.

Overall, the weekend jamboree was a great success as sportsmanship and entertainment were on center stage.  Kids from the different clubs and teams got to play the sport they love with their friends and classmates as well as against them.  It was an amazing thing to see players, parents and coaches cheering on players from the other teams just as much as their own team.  We at Tri-City Storm would like to extend a special thanks to all the coaches, parents and players that participated in the Jamboree and helped make it such a great experience.