Youth Soccer News: U13 Girls Will Take on the World in July 2013
Youth Soccer News: Southern California GU13 Girls take off for an international competition at the GOTHIA CUP this summer in Sweden. Looking for more talented players to join the team. Do you want to have the experience of a lifetime?
“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou
It will be an exciting summer for a number of the girls of San Diego Surf GU13 Premier and GU13 White as they travel to Europe to compete in two of the top international youth tournaments. In early July the girls will fly to Denmark to take part in Cup No. 1; then they will go on to Sweden to play in the prestigious Gothia Cup. Over the course of the two tournaments, the girls will take on teams from around the world, as well as experience the wonders of traveling to new countries. The team will be competing in the Girls 1999 age bracket in both tournaments.
The Gothia Cup, played each year in Gothenburg, Sweden, is perhaps the most famous and celebrated international youth tournament. Already nearly 50 countries have already registered teams – many with multiple clubs participating. This year Gothia Cup, which runs from July 14-20 this year, marked its 138th participating country with the registration of competitors from Haiti. Other nations attending include Argentina, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, Kenya, Malaysia, South Africa and United Arab Emirates.
From an initial field of 275 teams in 1975, which already included girls’ teams, the Gothia Cup has grown to over 1600 teams from nearly 80 countries in 2012, making it the world’s largest youth tournament. Over one million young players have participated in the competition in its 37-year history. The competition takes its name from Gothia, the old Latin name for the Götaland region of Sweden, and from Gothenburg – the Gothic Castle City.
"The Gothia Cup is one of the oldest and largest international soccer tournaments in the world,” said Surf GU13 Premier team manager Brian Monjazeb. “For the Surf to provide these girls with the opportunity to compete at such a global level, at this stage in their soccer development, speaks volumes to the vision and direction of the club."
While the Gothia Cup is perhaps the best known of the two tournaments the team will compete in, Cup No. 1, formerly known as Dana Cup No. 1, is no less prestigious. The Danish tournament, which began in 1984, takes place annually in Frederikshavn, Denmark, during the 28th week of the year (July 8-13 this year). The tournament has fielded teams from nearly 80 different countries around the globe, with champions hailing from dozens of nations. In 2012 teams from the U.S. took titles at the B14 and G14 levels, and the G14 final was an all-American match pitting two teams from Marin FC against each other.
"The opportunity to compete internationally and represent one of the top clubs in the U.S. will be a great part of the girls' soccer careers,” said GU13 Premier head coach Beto Villela, who has also extended an invitation to eligible members of the club's GU14 teams. “The ability to travel internationally will not only expand their perspectives, but also be an excellent time of bonding for the team as well. I am so proud of the team and excited for the adventure ahead. "
It has been shown repeatedly that international travel can be one of the most rewarding and life-changing experiences for young people. Meeting new people, sharing in new traditions and cultural events and ideas can all help change attitudes toward others. Perhaps Mark Twain put it best when he wrote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.” This world needs more people to experience new people and places in order to help bring nations together.
"The chance to compete in the ‘World's Game’ on an international stage will provide the girls an invaluable learning experience," said Monjazeb.
|Former Surf player and U.S. Women's National Team defender Rachel Buehler has fond memories of her youth international travel. Photo Credit: Aaron Jaffe
Former Surf SC player and current U.S. Women’s National Team defender Rachel Buehler knows well the benefits of international travel, both as a youth and as an adult. At age 15 she joined the Cal South ODP squad on a trip to England, with the opportunity to both play against other teams and to watch top professional like Manchester United and Liverpool.
“As a kid, traveling to a variety of countries gave me perspective and helped foster my curiosity about different cultures,” Buehler told SoccerNation in an earlier interview. “Although soccer is growing quickly in the U.S., it is also inspiring for players to see the power of soccer around the globe.”
Former U.S. Men’s National Team member Paul Caligiuri also remembers the excitement of his international youth travels. “I will always remember my first international soccer trip to Oslo, Norway, and throughout Germany,” Caligiuri told SoccerNation. “The soccer experience was amazing and the life experience was incredible. I wish that every serious youth soccer player could have the opportunity to travel to Europe for soccer like I did when I was 14 years old.”
Surf GU13 Premier will be assisted in their travel arrangements by Premier International Tours, a leader in international sports travel for youth teams. Founded by former Dutch player Loek van Zijl, Premier International Tours is sanctioned by both U.S. Soccer and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). Over the years, the company has helped over 60,000 youth soccer players and their families experience the joys of international travel and competition.
“It is important to see how people from the other side of the world look at the world’s most popular sport,” van Zijl explained. “Soccer players learn to appreciate the game of soccer from a totally different perspective after an international trip.”
For the girls from Surf SC, this will be an amazing learning experience as well as a fun and exciting event to look back on. One day some of these young women may be representing the United States on the international stage, and they will be able to look back on their trip to Denmark and Sweden as perhaps being the starting point.
The team is currently looking for players to join in the tour and compete at Cup No. 1 and Gothia Cup. Girls who are interested must qualify to play in the 1999 age bracket, but do not have to play for San Diego Surf SC. For more information, click here.
Preliminary Trip Itinerary:
The team will leave from Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday, July 7, and arrive in Copenhagen on Monday, July 8, in time for Cup No. 1 opening ceremonies that evening. The tournament begins on Tuesday and includes an evening managers and coaches reception. The first round kicks off on Wednesday, with an evening disco celebration for players. Second round playoffs begin on Thursday, with the finals on Friday, July 12.
On Saturday, July 13, the team will take a ferry across to Gothenburg to prepare for the Gothia Cup. Sunday will be a leisure day to explore the city, and competition will begin with group matches on Monday morning and continue through Wednesday. Playoffs will begin on Thursday, July 18, and continue through Friday, with the finals at Ullevi Stadium on Saturday, July 20. There will be celebrations and dances most nights of the competition for players to get to know each other.
Congratulations to the girls who have already committed to taking part in this outstanding opportunity: Katie Cameron, Katelyn DeWent, Raemi DeWent, Daniella Fernandez, Lauren Gross, Ruby Hellstrom, Bailee Monjazeb, Olivia Morse, Katya Pourteymour, Kylee Steele, Nina Venzon, Laura Walton and Isabella Willyard.
Related Articles: Rachel Buehler, Paul Cailgiuri and Thomas Dooley Think Youth Soccer Travel is Great; The Importance of International Travel for Youth Soccer Players; Gothia Cup - World's Youth Soccer Cup; Gothia Cup News