Though they’re not old enough to hit the casinos, the Thompson Okanagan Football Club U15 boy’s squad is getting money together for a trip to Vegas.
The team is holding a fundraiser to help pay its way to the Las Vegas Mayor’s Cup in February, 2020. The international showcase is one of the most competitive youth soccer tournaments in the U.S. with more than 600 teams competing and 400 college coaches and recruiters evaluating young talent on world-class facilities.
Thompson Okanagan Football Club (TOFC) is hosting a pub night at the Kal Pub Hotel in Vernon on Wednesday, Nov. 13 from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for a beer and a burger, and the evening will also feature a silent auction.
TOFC is the top team in the region playing in the B.C. Soccer Premiere League, and as such they’ll be competing in the top tier of the tournament against the best teams in the States.
It’s the team’s biggest tournament of their preseason, and head coach Drissa Bouare hopes they’ll get some game fitness to prepare them for the start of spring season in the first week of March.
“The priority for us is to get prepared for our season and expose the boys to different environments and a different style of play,” said Bouare.
Though the team draws players from all over the Thompson Okanagan, Vernon is very well represented on the roster with eight out of its 17 players hailing from the city. Mac Sorochuk, Mitchell Bond, Liam Freathy, Eric Anderson, Ethan Anderson, Joe Murphy, Kailen Russell and Jerome Winter make up the team’s Vernon contingent.
The team has been working diligently to prepare for the trip down south, and their effort hasn’t gone unnoticed by their coach.
“The boys are unbelievable,” said Bouare. “Since we started talking about the tournament they absolutely bought in and are getting ready to go down and compete. The excitement is clear in training sessions. They’re pushing each other and there is a clear objective for them to keep pushing.”
The boys from Vernon have been working just as hard off the field to earn their way to the Vegas showcase, Bouare says.
“I was actually at Marshall Field for a training session with my older team and I saw some of the boys already on their own free time selling tickets for the pub night.”
Tickets to the pub night are available at the door, or in advance at Chicken Little in Vernon (4407 29th Street) or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.