Wednesday, July 29, 2009

If you are among the 120 youth soccer teams traveling to Corvallis to participate in the Oregon Youth Soccer Premier Qualifying Tournament in Corvallis this weekend you want to read this post.

During the middle of summer Crystal Lake Sports Complex fields would test even Survivorman Les Stroud's survival skills. Take heed of these tips if you want to make it through a soccer filled weekend at Crystal Lake in Corvallis, Oregon.

Bring micro-transportation.
Depending on your parking spot you may be well over half a mile from your field. The locals know to bring scooters, bikes, skate boards and roller blades to cover the distance. An enterprising person could make a killing with a rickshaw.

Also, wagons, bike trailers, baby strollers, and anything else with wheels can be used to haul out soccer bags, chairs, tents, canopies, coolers and other bulky items.

Bring your own shade.
There are no shade trees near the field. None. Tents and canopies are an absolute requirement for avoiding direct sun between games. Be sure to stake your tents and canopies to the ground. I've personally watched my ruined canopy roll end-over-end by a wind gust a Crystal Lake.

Bring your own water.
There is no public source of drinking water at Crystal Lake. None. A 80 pound person exercising for one hour in extreme heat requires about 70 ounces of water in a day (water consumption calculator). That is over two liters of water for your child/soccer player.

Here is a custom map with all sorts of important locations related to surviving a weekend at Crystal Lake including nearby spots to get food, water, socks, a Slurpee , some unique spots to eat, and nice places to kill time between games.

Crystal Lake Soccer Fields Survival Map
(zoom out a little for the good stuff)

View the Crystal Lake Survival Guide in a larger map.

Did I miss any essentials for soccer tournament weekend survival? Are you heading to Corvallis for the weekend? What would you like to know about our soccer-town to make your visit a great one?

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

On August 8-9 the Benton County Health Department will host the 4th Annual Benton County Soccer Tournament and Family Weekend here in Corvallis. Twelve adult soccer teams from Corvallis, Albany, Independence, Eugene, Hillsboro, Salem and Woodburn will participate in the two-day event. The event is free is open to the public.

Date: Saturday and Sunday, August 8-9, 2009
Location: Willamette Park in Corvallis
Time: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM

View the match schedule for the 2009 Benton County Soccer Tournament.

The soccer tournament is the center-piece through which the Benton County Health Department promotes health services and information to the community. The Lions Club will be providing free health screenings on location inside their mobile health screening unit. A resource fair will be available to answer questions and share important health information with all attendees.

Entertainment will include music, games for children, face painting, and story telling sessions by the Corvallis Public Library.

Particpating Teams: Squirrels, Cometa, Deportivo Eugene, Naranjas, Santa Teresa, Deportivo Albany, Deportivo Zamorano, Relampagos, Villalobos, Tapatio, La Nancy, El Sol de Mexico.

Event Sponsors: Cedar Surgical Associates, Corvallis Transit System, El Sol de Mexico, Imperial bakery, La X 660 AM, Great Harvest, Mid Valley Lions Club, Panaderia Pilos, Sancho's Mexican Grill, Sonido Genesis, Tacos Uruapan, La Azteca Musica Video, La Fuente Mexican Store, SOLNAC Youth Outreach, Baja Fresh, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Radio Movimiento 95.5 FM. El Presidente Mexican Restaurant.

I have been a part of this event since it started and it is really exciting to see programs and level of interest expend each year. This method of community outreach is really innovative. I love the blend of soccer and health services. Have you attended or participated in this event in past years? Please tell us what you think of the event.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chad Barrett alongside Nate Jaqua of Eugene are currently Oregon's most prominent professional soccer players. Chad Barrett was standout player at Southridge High School and for the Westside Metros. After completing his freshman year at UCLA he was selected third overall by the Chicago Fire in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft.

Barrett has represented the United States at the World Youth Championship and Olympic Qualifying matches. In 2008, Chad Barrett earned his first cap for the U.S. Men's National Team in a World Cup qualifier against Barbados. Toronto FC of the MLS acquired Barrett from the Chicago Fire in a deal for Brian McBride. He currently plays with the likes of Dwayne De Rosario and Marvell Wynne in Toronto.

Jared Montz who runs one of my favorite soccer sites at Jared Montz Soccer recently interviewed Chad Barrett by phone. The podcast is available as an audio stream at "JMS Podcast Interview w/ Toronto FC’s Chad Barrett" and for download as an MP3 file.

Who played against Chad while he was in Oregon? Lets hear some stories.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

I initially discovered the news about Dan Finnen's passing via Twitter on Friday.

@mattgeniza: RIP Dan Finnen. soccer and golf are much better in heaven man.

I thought it was a joke of some kind. He was roughly my age and very physically fit by appearances. Two Gazette Times headlines, "Finnen left legacy of success" by Kevin Hampton and "Death leaves 'gaping hole' in Corvallis soccer circles" by Steve Gress, quickly confirmed the shocking news for me. (photo by Casey Cambell)

Hampton and Gress have done a great job of informing us. I want to share my own memories and insights of Dan Finnen here.

My first exposure to Dan Finnen was not as a coach, but as a soccer player. More specifically an opponent. Dan was fiercely competitive. He was never the most talented soccer player but I never saw him relent or give up. He was a prideful man.

That hard nose attitude matched his east coast accent and bald head. He looked like a state trooper out of a B movie. Some of his players found that harsh demeanor challenging. If you consider his many years of service to the Corvallis soccer community it would be easy to call it "tough love".

Casey Fries pointed out, “The fact that he was in that program so long says a lot about his character and what he did for the girls. You don’t stay somewhere 14 years unless you are doing something right. He had an awfully big heart and cared a lot about kids.”

Dan and I would never have called each other friend. But as a supporter of Corvallis soccer it is very easy for me to honor his life. We will miss his commitment and service to our soccer community.

What memories do you have of Dan Finnen? Please share them with us.

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Corvallis based soccer standouts Drew Chrostek (Corvallis High School), Tracy Hasson (OSU) and Daniel Leach (OSU) will join other local soccer all-stars as the Eugene Metro Select to face Club América and Bayern Munich on June 2nd and June 29th in Eugene.

vs Club América
June 2nd, 7:30 PM,
Willamette High School
vs Bayern Munich
June 29th, 7:30 PM, Willamette High School

Tickets: Adults $10, Youth (18-under) $7,
Tickets available at the gate and Corvallis Sports Park
Special: Purchase 1 adult ticket and get 1 youth ticket free
For more information, email or phone 343-5100

Proceeds from the matches will go towards the Eugene Metro Fútbol Club, a youth soccer program.

Club América or C.F. América is the richest club in Mexico and have won ten Mexican Primera League championships. Bayern Munich or Fußball-Club Bayern München are the most successful team in Germany and are four-time club champions of Europe.

Both visiting teams will field reserve and youth players, but these are professional soccer players on contract with two of the biggest soccer clubs on the planet. To put things in perspective, Landon Donovan was a reserve player with Bayer Leverkusen in Germany for four seasons. These guys will be good and are representing a lot of club pride and history.

I plan on attending both matches (in support of the home team of course) and I expect an awesome international soccer atmosphere for both matches. Particularly for the Club América match which I have no doubt will be well supported by Hispanic fans in Oregon. So don't miss these matches or no falte el juego de fútbol!

Are you going to either match? What do you expect? Care to make a score prediction?

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