It’s after 6 in the morning here, and really, I should be asleep, but I have a couple of event-related pieces to finish before I can call it a night.
However, I feel obligated to respond to this article, simply because in the time that I’ve been here in San Antonio, I’ve seen first-hand how hard all of the people involved with putting on this event have worked, and even though Steven Goff didn’t have a disparaging intent (at least I’d hope so), it would help for him and several of the commenters to know more about the situation before saying something.
Firstly, about the stadium pitch, it is a little smaller than desired. However, that’s something that the organizers have been looking at from the start, and have tried to do all that they can to make the most out of it.
The organizers have really only been able to prepare and plan for the event since December. That no doubt affected their field options, as did the fact that the teams specifically requested a natural grass playing surface.
I’ll add what Jason, one of the event’s primary organizers, told me earlier this week – they were also looking for a field that had the best dimensions possible, and fit attendance-wise.
The facility that the teams are practicing at, and where DC United and Chivas USA played their morning match on Wednesday, has a large amount of fields, and I imagine they’d have held all of the matches there if they could have, but the facility isn’t set up for that kind of thing – yet.
I’m not really sure how much I’m supposed to divulge about what will be happening, but to sum it up, in the near future, there won’t be any issues in terms of hosting the event’s matches, stadium specifications, and the whole lot of it.
This is the first time that this event is being put on, and it certainly won’t be the last. But, when you do anything for the first time, not everything will be perfect, and those are things you can build off of, improve, and change the next time around.
But, given the short timeframe that the organizers are working on, the event has gone as well as possible thus far, and there’s plenty in store for the rest of the week.
All of the people involved – Jason, Steve, Ed, Chris, from the people at the forefront to the guys behind the scenes – have worked tirelessly to make the event a success and to accommodate the teams and make them feel comfortable for and throughout their stay here. And from my point of view, all four teams are enjoying their stay.
And when it comes to D.C. and Chivas’ scrimmage, I’d have to say that I actually liked getting to see them in such a spirited encounter in the morning, because I already knew that most starters wouldn’t play very much or at all in the ‘real’ game. The condition of the pitch did play a factor, I’m not disputing that in the least, but to put it in the terms Mr Goff did was grossly exaggerating things. Thinking in terms of the big picture and what both sides are looking to do, that also played a part. And hey, it virtually killed two birds with one stone – the coaches got to gauge their key players in the morning, and in the night match, some of the young/reserve/on-trial players got the opportunity to get one step closer to solidify their role with the team, or for that matter, their spot with teams.
Perfect? No, nothing is. Not you, not me, not the way we run things and the way things are done. But, by the end of the week, the Texas Pro Soccer Fest will have gone a long way in helping soccer in the area.
And if you’re wondering about my point of view for the event – I’m not only at the practices and at the games, but I’ve also been gathering as much information as possible from event organizers and in the meantime, just keeping close tabs on many of the things going on this week.
So, Mr. Goff, if you have any questions about the event, feel free to ask, because it will aid your reports, and help give the area some great publicity.
Soccer Insider has a brief report from the Wednesday games at the Soccer Fest.