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Soccer tournament draws hundreds to SCV

More than 150 teams of young players compete in 5th annual SCV Magic Cup

Posted: June 9, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 9, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Coach Rob Kodama discusses strategy with members of his Breakaway North Valley Soccer Club Sunday at Heritage Park. The team was one of 150 teams competing in 2014 SCV Magic Cup soccer tournament. Signal photo by Jim Holt.

The big winner of this year’s SCV Magic Cup soccer tournament was, according to the mothers of hungry competing kids, local restaurants in the Santa Clarita Valley.

More than 150 teams — each with an average of a dozen soccer players, aged 8 to 18 — spent two days in the Santa Clarita Valley playing, competing ... and eating.

“We went out and frequented some of your local eateries,” said Kristina Theodoratos, whose son plays for the Breakaway North Valley Soccer Club, based in Northridge.

“There were 25 of us that went to California Pizza Kitchen last night for dinner,” she said, referring to Saturday, opening day of the two-day tournament.

Waiting to take the field at Heritage Park Sunday, were 14 young members of the Los Angeles Premier team.

“At mid-day Saturday, we all went to CPK to eat,” said the mother of one Premier player.

And, if the visiting Pasadena team hadn’t contributed enough to the Santa Clarita Valley economy, she added: “And, to stay cool, we all went to Target.”

Each year for the past four years, organizers of the annual soccer tournament invite teams fromacross the state to come to the Santa Clarita Valley and play at least three games at local parks, including those at Central Park, Hart High School, Saugus High School, Heritage Park and Arroyo Seco Junior High School.

Winners, of course, advance in the tournament to play additional games.

“We made it to the semi-finals, so we’re doing OK,” said 10-year-old Premier player Michael Van Haaster.

With weekend temperatures in the mid-90s, hundreds of competing kids were advised to drink a lot.

Breakaway coach Rob Kodama addressed heat concerns this way: “I told them, ‘Just keep the ball, because if you have it, you don’t have to chase it.’”

Over at the opposing team’s camp, parents addressed heat concerns by putting up a canopy tent.

“The coach said ‘I need shade,’ so some of the parents put this up for him,” said Debby Tomlinson, whose son, Jack, plays for the South Bay Galaxy.

But whether the Galaxy, or the Breakaway, or the Premier soccer teams won or lost, all the players had to do to eat lunch or dinner, or both, was walk across McBean Parkway to CPK or any of the other half a dozen restaurants open for business.
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