The St. Anthony Futuro File: Preston St. Cage Soccer Personifies St. A’s

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By St. Anthony Futuro

With standout experiences in town, down the road and abroad for international play, it’s been a busy month for St. Anthony Futuro soccer, but our club is excited to bring it all back home for our expo during Italian Fest.

With 65 years of tradition on the local soccer scene, and the city’s only football clubhouse, there is no better time to get a taste for Ottawa St. Anthony Italia Soccer Club than on June 15-16 when we setup our 1v1 Cage Soccer display in Little Italy.

Oh, and did we mention it’s also FIFA World Cup Opening Week?

World-class workshops

Futuro welcomed some of the world’s leading experts for a pair of recent seminars at St. Anthony Clubhouse.

Ciara McCormack went through the 10 steps to getting the right exposure to land a university scholarship with young players seeking to reach the next level in the women’s soccer world.

McCormack played NCAA Div. 1 soccer at Yale University and University of Connecticut, followed by a 14-year professional career in Denmark, Norway, Australia, Canada and the U.S.

And Dr. Jean Cote from Queen’s University led a session on Effective & Transformational Coaching, providing a great opportunity to learn and grow for our club as well as local coaches from many sports.

Paying it… backward

As part of the Futuro leadership program, younger players are tasked with the task of introducing games to older players during practice sessions.

The training includes six different games with various objectives. At the end of each 10-minute game, one player has to stay behind and tell the next group the objectives and organization of the game.

Developing leadership skills and socially confident individuals is one of the club’s seven key philosophical pillars alongside Spiritually Grounded, Mentally Strong, Educationally Sound, Physically Capable, Technical Genius and Tactically Intelligent.

Futuro semi-finalists at national Neymar 5v5 finals

They narrowly missed winning a trip to Brazil, but a Futuro crew nevertheless captured memories of a lifetime with their deep run at the Neymar Jr’s Five national finals on May 26 at BMO Field in Toronto.

On the heels of taking down all challengers to win the local qualifier in the open five-a-side tournament on May 5 at TD Place, the Futuro gang advanced all the way to the semi-final in Toronto before falling 1-0 in overtime to an Edmonton team.

“It was a real pleasure for me personally to play with my boys,” highlights St. Anthony Technical Director Sanjeev Parmar, who donned the cleats alongside his young proteges.

“An amazing experience for our boys as we were the only team full of high school kids playing against fully-grown men.”

The Canadian representatives will now travel to the Instituto Projeto Neymar Jr. in Praia Grande, Brazil for the world finals of the competition that featured over 100,000 players on more than 30,000 teams from 62 countries.

The Red Bull-sponsored competition features 10-minute matches with no goalkeeper, and whenever a team scores, the opposition loses a player.

Costa Rican national scores in CONCACAF finale

Futuro product Carmen Marin made her mark with the Costa Rican women’s under-17 soccer team at the CONCACAF championships, which wrapped up June 12 in Florida.

Playing for her birth country, the Ottawa-bred player went 90 minutes and put a scare into the favoured Canadians in a 2-1 group stage match that kept Costa Rica from reaching the knockout stages.

Marin played 64 minutes in her team’s finale, exiting the game with a 4-0 lead over Bermuda and having scored a goal.

The Florida International University-bound player would like to continue representing Costa Rica at the U-20 and senior levels.

“There isn’t a day that goes by when I’m not working for the pride of my country and wanting to build something and to build a name for us, for all of my teammates,” underlines Marin, who credits years spent playing with Futuro boys’ teams as crucial to her development.

After only a few matches, the CONCACAF tournament had to be postponed/rescheduled because of political instability and rioting in Nicaragua, the original host country. Marin first joined the Costa Rican national team as a 12-year-old.

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