Soccer Tournament Brings Fans From Across The Nation

Saturday, September 30th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Friday night football brings out plenty of fans, but the World's most popular sport may have more fanatics here in green country.

Soccer families in Tulsa will travel across the country and around the world to play a good match.

This weekend some of the best have come to Tulsa for an elite tournament.

The Steamers are practicing for their upcoming game in the Super Youth Soccer League.

Their getting their legs ready because, these 13 and 14 year olds spent much of the day and last night riding in a bus from Birmingham, Alabama. Other members of the club are flying in for some serious soccer.

"It's fun because we get to test our strengths and see what others have," says Matthew Vinyard, Alabama player.

The Super Youth Soccer League has only ten clubs made up of 13 to 18 year old boys.

They're also taking jets, coach buses, and cars from Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Georgia and Tennessee.

Tulsa is the second stop for the round robin tournament, early this month each team played in Memphis, later this month they go to Tampa.

Meeting the best isn't new to Tulsa's clubs; they've won a tournament in Sweden.

“They say you are crazy, I can't believe you're doing all this, especially when your kids are playing more than one sport and you travel," Tori Boswell, parent.

Child psychologists say any activity taken to the extreme can be detrimental. But, they say it doesn't matter if you are playing in another country, another state, or even in the neighborhood. They key is how parents handle winning and losing.

“If they had a twiddling winks competition, they would be just as fired up about winning," says Ross Rees, coach.

Roy Rees is a Tulsa coach and a former World Cup coach.
He says sometimes he watches the parents as close as the players. He has also been a professor of childhood development and says you have to stress development, not winning.

"That's part of the education of our clubs, we have to take the pressure of the kids. Just go out and play. You're playing the top team from south Texas, so what, go and enjoy yourself," says Rees.