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Magic Cup heats up

Community: Inaugural tournament hosted by SCV’s club soccer draws over 1000, despite high temperatur

Posted: July 17, 2010 10:54 p.m.
Updated: July 18, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Santa Clarita Magic soccer team player Marianne Moore, left, rushes to congratulate teammate Emma Dal Soglio, right, who scored a goal in the 6-0 victory over the San Luis Obispo Storm in the girls-under-10 category at the Santa Clarita Valley Magic Cup tournament on Saturday. Hanna Ogden, center, of the Storm looks on. The tournament took plac...

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Attention sports drink sponsors — more than a thousand thirsty young soccer tournament players competing on perhaps the hottest weekend this year could your use your help next time.

Kids ages 8 to 18 years old travelled from as far away as Bakersfield and San Dimas to compete in the inaugural Santa Clarita Valley  Magic Cup two-day tournament.

“I know it’s really hot when my knees sweat,” said Gianna Rains, 14, grabbing a cold bottle of water from the cooler as she ran off the pitch, collapsing in the shade of the team tent.

Her team is the Ajax Girls U-14 team from Simi Valley.

Four substitute players sitting in the shade, stand up around her and run onto the field.

Red-faced and sweating, Rains gulps down the water.

Her teammate Devan Obhari, 14, lifts an industrial-sized water squirter when asked about the heat.

“We also have this,” she said, lifting the squirter and aiming it at her pals who don’t laugh or complain about being soaked.
Temperatures in Santa Clarita Valley reached triple digits Saturday.

The Santa Clarita Valley Soccer Club has 21 teams — boys teams and girls teams — all of which compete as the Santa Clarita Valley Magic in the Coast Soccer League.

“We’re really hot out there and we sweat a lot,” Devan said, still dousing her friends.

“And, we’re playing a team one year older than us,” she said.

More than 90 teams — 80 percent of which are from out of town — battled it out on four local soccer fields: Heritage Park, William S. Hart Park, Old Orchard Park and Central Park.

Each team plays at least three games with winners advancing in World Cup fashion. Members of Ajax (pronounced “IX”) team identify, they say, with the Amsterdam Football Club, Ajax, in the Netherlands.

So, their choice of what team to cheer for during the World Cup was obvious.

“We watched every game,” said Gina Rains, Gianna’s mother. “We had to. It’s homework.”

As a mother and manager of her daughter’s team, she was very concerned about the implications of intense heat this weekend.

“We make sure they’re hydrated before we go anywhere,” she said. “We make sure they drink plenty before we leave, and before they play because once you’re out here it’s too late to start.”

Wet towels are also put to use, draped around the necks of the panting players.

John Kneisel, manager of the SCV Magic team Girls Under 15 team, said his 14-year-old daughter, Marissa, was handing the heat very well.

“The kids are doing really well,” he said on the sidelines. “In the extremely hot time, we’ll be taking a break.”

If all goes well and the tournament returns next year, Santa Clarita only stands to benefit, he says.

“This program brings a lot of money into this city,” Kneisel points out. “Hotels, alone, are making money from the ones driving here.”

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