Name: Nike Challenge 2017 Tournament sponsored by Arsenal FC (Sorry, but the website appears to have been taken down!) at Galway Downs.
Overall Impressions: This was our first time attending this tournament and our first time playing at the new Galway Downs Complex. It seemed to be well organized and ran smoothly and proved to be a fun weekend for our girls.
Dates: January 7/8, 2017
Location: Galway Downs, Temecula
Strength of Competition: This was a pretty small tournament but had a few top teams playing up. Our girls had fun hanging out together and getting back into the swing of things after the winter break.
Fields: This was my first trip to the new Galway Downs Complex in Temecula and I believe this was the first tournament held there. From the website I was expecting something a little different (it shows lovely weddings etc…), but the field complex was nice and the portable restrooms were very clean. (Hey- that’s important!) The parking was a bit disorganized and muddy because it isn’t paved, but I’m sure they will continue to figure things out. Do not park on the side streets near the field entrance- they were towing cars. Although they advertised having food options on site, there weren’t many choices suitable for the girls so we left the complex and drove back towards the freeway about 5-10 minutes. An important thing to note is the complex is about 15 minutes (7 miles) off the freeway, so allow extra travel time. It is very pretty out there with the mountains as a backdrop. Next time I’ll have to explore more of the property as shown on their website.
Weather: Southern California is having the most rain we’ve had in years, so we thought this one might be rained out. We were actually scheduled to play in a different tournament that was cancelled due to forecasted rain, so we were happy to be able to slide into this one at the last minute. The rain (mostly) held off and we had nice and cool weather both days. You can see the beautiful rainbow over the field in the picture above.
Hotels/Restaurants/Attractions: Temecula is a very cute town with lots to do and there are numerous wineries and Indian Casinos near by. There’s something for everyone! We chose to stay the night at the Springhill Suites Marriott which was less than 15 minutes from the fields and was clean and nice. The rooms were a little bit funky with the way the bathrooms were laid out, but all the rooms are suites giving you a bit of extra room. There are many restaurants close by, but after a long day at the field we chose to eat at Vince’s Spaghetti Express right across the street so that the girls could have the pasta they wanted. This would be a great place for a team dinner…except if you have gluten free people.