Over the summer (and winter!) we spend many weekends traveling around Southern California attending soccer tournaments. As always, all opinions are my own and based on personal experience unless otherwise noted. If you have reviews of your own, please add in the comments!
Name: Strikers Winter Cup (Strikers FC- Orange County) Girls U8-U14.
Overall Impressions: This was the third time LSG has played in this well organized and run tournament (formerly known as the Eclipse Winter Cup). All fields had EZ ups and benches provided for both teams, medals and pins were colorful, games were played on-time, and the tournament ran smoothly. We played at Tesoro High School and the beautiful Vista Hermosa Sports Park on pristine turf fields. All tournament fields were turf for rain or shine play…which is important this time of year. There are many out of state teams at this tournament- I noticed Nebraska, Minnesota as well as many Northern California teams. It’s a perfect travel tournament because of the no rain out guarantee and the Orange County location close to the beach and Disneyland. Although the weekend was chilly by So Cal standards and we saw a few sprinkles on Saturday, Sunday was a beautiful and sunny winter day. I thought the Nebraska team that we played must have had a good chuckle at all the California parents bundled up in their ski parkas, hats, gloves and UGG boots when it was 55 degrees outside on Saturday. (Hey! I was cold- lol)
As it is designed to be a State Cup Prep tournament it’s nice that there were regulation time halves instead of the shorter halves at many tournaments. Last year, LSG’s team lost in the finals, but this year they pulled out the championship against some very tough competition!
Dates: January 23/24, 2016
Cost: $525 for U8 | $600 for U9-U10 | $700 for U11-U14
Location: Saddleback Valley- San Juan Capistrano, Lake Forest, San Clemente, Laguna Nigel. All fields are turf for rain or shine play.
Application Process/Organization/Coaching Conflicts: The application process was simple and straightforward through Got Soccer (it’s always nice to get Got Soccer points!), and the schedules were out well in advance. Everything ran smoothly and scores were reported quickly… except for that one that was reported as 114-0 for 10 minutes. Ha-ha
Check In: One hour prior check in at the field- yay! Check in was organized and easy and was also required before and after each game.
Rules: 10 Point System; regulation time halves-yay! (U8-U11 25 minute halves; U12-U14 3o minute halves)
Number of Teams: This is a smaller tournament for girls only so there was only one flight for most age levels.
Strength of Competition: Since the Governor’s and Mayor’s brackets of State Cup began the same weekend, all teams available to play were at a higher level. It was also fun to see teams from out of the area that we don’t normally play. In our age group there were four brackets, each with a So Cal powerhouse team. The competition was really tough in the semi and final games…but this time we won!
Fields: Games were played across Southern Orange County in the Saddleback Valley- Lake Forest, Laguna Nigel, San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente. All fields were turf for rain or shine play. I especially love the Vista Hermosa Sports Park in San Clemente- it’s a beautiful complex with an aquatic center, baseball fields and more…as well as a Target with a Starbucks right across the street for soccer moms and dads. Check out the beautiful field and weather below…