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United Communities Cup kicks off this weekend

Soccer: Okotoks girls U17 to U9 competition held from Jan. 14-16
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The Anthem United Communities Cup opens this weekend from Jan. 14-16 with 48 teams in 11 divisions. Okotoks United will have eight teams in the competition. (Remy Greer/Western Wheel File Photo

Okotoks United Soccer’s flagship event kicks into high gear this weekend.

The 2022 Anthem United Communities Cup begins its first of two weekends with the girls competition taking place from Jan. 14-16 at the Cavalry FC Regional Field House.

“It’s great for the club and a positive thing for the community, both for our club and economically as well,” said Okotoks United technical director Matt Lumsden. “There’s a lot more hoops we’ve had to jump through this year to get things organized and up until the last minute to jump through and a few things to navigate throughout the tournament.

“It’s certainly a busy period, that’s for sure.”

The 2022 Cup is down to two events from four in its 2020 incarnation with last year’s competition not taking place amid the second wave of the pandemic.

Since then, new formats of play in the Calgary area leagues have also impacted the numbers.

“Divisions 1 to 3, U13-plus now play boardless and play on turf, basically seven-versus-seven and we don’t have the capacity to do that at our facility,” Lumsden said. “So we just run the divisions now that still play futsal or still play boarded soccer, but we’ve got two fully subscribed events.”

Okotoks’ numbers are robust this indoor season with the most competitive and development teams its ever had.

Eight Okotoks squads are part of the field this weekend with teams in U17 Tier 2 futsal, U12-13 Tier 3-4 boarded, U11 Tier 3 boarded, U9 Tier B futsal and U9 High Country League.

Measures in place at the tournament include a limit of one spectator per player as well as reduced turnover times in dressing rooms.

“Teams can only have their changing room 15 minutes before and ten minutes after versus 30 minutes before just to stop people milling around in the facility,” Lumsden said. “We’ve tried to put in as many measures as we can just to keep the kids going, but reduce everybody’s footprint in the facility.

“As with all of these things nowadays, there’s a balance to find everywhere.”

The Jan. 21-23 weekend will see the Communities Cup boys competition take to the field house with 11 divisions part of the event.

For more information go to okotoksunitedsoccer.ca.


Remy Greer

About the Author: Remy Greer

Remy Greer is the assistant editor and sports reporter for Okotokstoday.ca and the Western Wheel newspaper. For story tips contact rgreer@okotoks.greatwest.ca
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