Palo Alto - May 23, 2013
On the weekend of April 27th and 28th, 60 teams attended the 2nd annual El Palo Alto Invitational Tournament representing U10 to U14 in boys and girls divisions and U16 boys participated in the two day event where all teams are guaranteed 3 games each. Numerous teams from the Peninsula (from Pacifica to San Jose) and some teams from the East Bay (Davis, Concord, Pleasant Hill, Mount Diablo) traveled to Palo Alto to attend the event. The game venues were held at three field complexes, JLS fields, Seale Park, and Greer Park.
The tournament was obviously focused on making the event enjoyable for 780 players, but a lot goes on behind the scenes to make this a successful venue for the kids. A big thanks goes out to the numerous volunteers/parents/coaches from our 12 Palo Alto Spring Select teams who stepped in to keep the event on track for two long days of activities. Many volunteers needed to get trained as field marshals and many others rolled up their sleeves to help setup and take down the fields each day, clean up the fields, and run errands to support various needs of the tournament. Our referees were also volunteers and a good number of them went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure each game was covered, many doing more than their fair share of games. A few other referees made sacrifices to ref games that prevented them from watching their own child's game so that others could play. Our volunteer referees needed to cover over a 100 games over two days.
We are also grateful to our sponsors the San Jose Earthquakes, Peet's Coffee, Jamba Juice, Whole Foods, Alexander's Steakhouse, and Sports Authority for their generous contributions in helping us make this an affordable and enjoyable event.
The primary tournament organizers were Christine Schlenker, Tournament Director and Gordon Short, Regional Commissioner. The time and effort that Christine and Gordon put in to make this venue a success cannot be easily summed up. Their accounting to detail and extra effort put forth the weeks prior to the tournament and through to the end and beyond is a true testament to a persons commitment to a program and a community. Christine Schlenker worked hard to get all of the teams registered and cleared to play, KimChi Nguyen, Marketing coordinator, arranged all of the sponsors, coordinating referee refreshments, and more. Alistair Murray, Tournament Referee Coordinator, along with Lee Berg, Regional Referee Administrator made sure all of our games were covered. Tim Halsted, Field Marshall coordinator, Mark Andrews, sportsmanship coordinator, and David Mucciarone, Competition coordinator, worked on setting up the individual division match ups, and for transporting supplies to and from the fields.
Palo Alto brought home five medals, two in U10G, one each in U12G, U14B, and U16B.
U10G Palo Alto Cyclones and Palo Alto Lightning qualified for a consolation game after pool play. The Cyclones edged out Lightning 1-0 to take third place in the consolation game with Lightning taking 4th place.
U12G Palo Alto Smash finished second in pool play and qualified for a spot in the consolation game. They suffered a close 1-0 loss against Redwood City in their consolation game to take 4th place.
U14B Palo Alto Elite qualified for a wildcard game after pool play on Saturday for a chance to make the medal round. Their pathway would not be easy. The wildcard game against Menlo Park MI-6 was tied after regulation and went to kicks from the mark. Palo Alto Elite edged out Menlo Park to qualify for the semi-finals. After a disappointing 2-0 loss in the semi-final round against MDSA Legends, they qualified for a consolation match against Mountain View Terremotos. Elite managed a late score to win the match 1-0 taking 3rd place.
U16B Palo Alto Raptors finished 1st after pool play qualifying for the championship game against San Mateo Atletico who qualified after winning their spot over Mountain View Wanderers in a PK shootout. The finals game between Palo Alto and San Mateo was tied 1-1 after regulation time, and was 2-2 after overtime. The game was decided with kicks from the mark with the Palo Alto Raptors winning 5-4 after going seven deep in the lineup to win the U16B championship.
We hope that all of those who attended, volunteered, and participated had an enjoyable time.