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Good for the most part

by Eric
(Fort Worth, TX)

The competition was good and the tournament drew a good number of college coaches. I would say at any time there were at least 2 coaches watching most of the fields that I could see.

The downsides were both the fields and the referees. The grass was all dead and there were sand-filled holes along with lumps in many places that all led to the boys having trouble controlling balls that are normally routine. Several fields were also graded in a very weird way. They seemed to be sitting on a hill so instead of a crown in the middle for drainage, they leaned to one side.

The referees are almost always a problem at tournaments as they are usually overworked and exhausted by lunch on the first day. However, this one was even worse than most. Not only did we see the usual lack of focus due to exhaustion we also played two games with linesman who were younger and less experienced than the boys on the field. We hoped that wouldn't be a factor, but Murphy stepped in and there were multiple bad offside calls or no calls on goals going for and against us.

I understand that the showcase tournaments are not meant to be competitive, and that wins or losses aren't necessarily even posted, but they are a place where players are evaluated so I think quality should still be an issue.

With poor fields and poor referees it is difficult for anyone to really put their best foot forward in a competition. This tournament has obviously made a name for itself, judging by the response of the college coaches, so I think that moving forward the directors should really focus on better facilities and providing appropriately trained referees for future tournaments.

3.5 out of 5

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Dec 15, 2010
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