Soccer is their game of passion
Ahmed Adan, firstname.lastname@example.org
It is more than a game or a tournament it is a huge community gathering in every spring for 12 years, held in central Ohio.
The most talented young Somali American, Somali Canadians and few other selective players come together in Columbus first week of April every year. This is an indoor soccer tournament that attracts huge number of Somali soccer players and fans around the world. Friends and families enjoy watching the games, some of them meeting the first time since they immigrated to the United States and Canada.
This year the former Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo refereed one of the gamed and was the guest of honor at the tournament appreciation dinner.
“I am amazed with the level of organization and dedication you all put to this tournament; you are doing a fantastic job.” Mohamed Abdullahi said.
30 teams participated the two divisions (youth under 14 and U-25) tournaments. These teams were from the host Columbus Ohio, Minnesota, Washington DC, Arizona, Boston Massachusetts, Portland Maine, Memphis Tennessee, Atlanta Georgia, Seattle Washington, and Toronto Canada.
The Somali sports community re-united and deliberated how to keep the soccer tradition and motivate young players to play soccer as their choice of sports. Soccer legends including former national players and coaches offered valuable advices to the young players after carefully watching their games.
“We are honored with the presence of coaches and players that young people look up to” said Mahad Awale, who is a member of the organizing committee.
The winner this year was Twin Cities Stars from Minnesota by 4-2, defeating TSS from Tennessee at the final game.
“The winning team from the Twin Cities actually deserved the win this year. They had some of the best players and played very nice games all alone the tournament.” Fuad Ali a tournament official said.
Although this is the twelfth spring soccer tournament the organizing team ranked this to be the greatest of all.
“This was our best tournament we ever hosted in Ohio.” Mahad Awale said. “Believe me, we had a three day soccer tournament with hundreds of players and thousands of fans and we concluded without a single complaint, everybody appreciated”.
Mike Barry knows what a good soccer game looks like. He played soccer in England for 17 years and coached 25 years, he is a member of Ohio South and an indoor soccer referee currently living in Central Ohio. He admires the level of talent and how magnificent it is soccer to unite a whole community.
“They come from different places, I love doing (referee) the game because of the passion, the science and the amazing work they put into this tournament” Barry said.
Also, there are businesses that strongly support this tournament every year and the organizing committee appreciates their support.
“This would not have been possible without the support of the community businesses especially this we had a very generous donations form attorney Russell Flickinger Law Office and Discovery Dental of Dr. Mohamed Warsame .” Bashir Gelle chairman of the organizing committee said.