Just For Kicks
THE Xcel Games International Soccer Tournament, featuring men's teams from around the world, will be held at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex, Aug. 10-12.
tourney set for Waipio
Eleven men's teams will join the Hawaii Xcel Select team in the three-day tournament. The Hawaii team, coached by Phil Neddo, Frank Doyle and Augustine Mendez, has been preparing for the past month.
Europe is represented by teams from Italy, France, Germany and England. These are club teams and the rosters are filled out with players who could afford the trip but might not be club members, according to Casey Cho, Hawaii Xcel athletic director.
Three teams are coming from Asia --the Taiwan national team, a professional team from South Korea known as Sky Soccer Club and a team from Japan that will have pro players from that country's second and third divisions.
There is one team from Canada and club teams from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.
There will be four pools of three teams, according to Cho. The pool matches will be 40 minutes each half with the semifinals and championship matches the full 90 minutes.
Previous tournaments have been held in Europe.
The Hawaii roster includes goalkeepers Adam Sthay and Agustin Mendez; defenders Chono Fernandez, Matt Snyder, Arno Reynolds, Michael Cooper, Jordan Inoyue, Gabriel Jaramillo, Kyle Lenahau and Bryan Martin; mid-fielders Paul McElroy, Zak Kahirane, Nick Paraskevopoulus, Tioni Hackney, James Nebrija, Aaron Delbex-Smith, Diego Yemal and Hee Young Woo; and forwards Orlando Suazo, Elie Sauma, Nick Chapin, Darren Juliano and Alika Cosner.
Academics rule: Two high school senior standouts have chosen to pursue exciting academic challenges that precludes them playing soccer.
Kristin Hamada, a co-captain and sweeper at Punahou this year, considered playing collegiate soccer, but was accepted into the honors program at the University of Colorado and will concentrate on academics.
Blaine Murakami, a Star-Bulletin all-state, first-team striker from Mililani High School, originally intended to play soccer at the University of San Diego.
However, he was awarded a University of Hawaii Regents Scholarship and will pass on soccer to remain home to continue his education.
Less driving: Bob Barry has resigned as the director of coaching for the Mililani Soccer Club.
Barry cited the travel time, including a rush-hour commute to Mililani from Honolulu, where he teaches at Iolani, and then a trek back to his home in Kailua.
He has been appointed the Kailua Volcanos Soccer Club's director of coaching and player development. He starts Sept. 1.
Barry expressed in a letter to club members that he was pleased with the club's progress: "We continue to move toward a total integration of club system teams, the coaching staff is overall a better staff and new coaches have received coaching licenses.
"We have improved our technical and physical areas and the only weak area is tactics. I would have liked to work more with certain teams to improve this part of our game. However, this was impossible as a part-time DOC."