By Ms. Laura Kreider (IMCOM)July 1, 2013
For the second year in a row, the local section of the Alpini "Vincenzo Periz" organized the Torneo Calcetto called "La Sezione vs Vicenza del Mondo", a soccer tournament in Settecà, a stadium near the Palladio Mall June 22. Six teams participated in the event playing in two groups for a total of four games per team and the duration of 20 minutes each game.
In addition to the local team Alpini Berici Settentrionali, other teams taking part in the event were Unione Immigrati, Alpini Basso Vicentino, Morocco, Tunisia and the post team Vicenza Lions.
Lino Marchiori, who is the chief for the Zona Berici Settentrionali, the area that organizes the event, said, "The purpose of this sport event is to let people in the area know about the Alpini, our identity, what we have done in the past, what we do in Italy and our values. Our motto is 'Help people while remembering our fallen' since our association is an army related association.
"Since last year we came up with the idea of coordinating a sport event to have several communities get together. It is very nice to see Americans, Moroccan, Tunisians boys and others from a different part of the world spending time together and sharing the same spirit of playing with sportiveness."
Participating for the second year the Vicenza Lions placed second after competing versus Alpini Berici Settentrionali, twice with Morocco and the final game against Alpini Basso Vicentino.
Vicenza Lions won the first game versus Alpini Berici Settentrionali 3-2, then, in the second game they tied with Morocco 0-0.
"The first game that we played was a warm up and we ended up being victorious by using the majority of the players, but in the second game we had to minimize the substitutions because it was a tougher game to play," said Carl Kerr, Vicenza Lions captain and coach.
According to Oliver Montejo, who scored the third goal in the first game, the game was a good challenge "We had a high-quality game, a lot of good team cohesion," he said.
Another scorer of the first game Corey Ashley who also participated in last year tournament was confident about the American team performance.
"I think last year the teams were tougher, there was more athleticism. I think that since we have been playing all year around we have a good chance to place in this tournament," he commented after the first game.
The six teams competed all afternoon and they played the finals at twilight.
Vicenza Lions competed again against Morocco in the semifinal with the victory 2 to 1 of the Vicenza team after a much-fought overtime period.
Nevertheless, the only Vicenza Lions' loss of the whole tournament took place in the final game, when while playing for the first or second place against the Alpini Basso Vicentini team the game ended with the Italians winning 3-1.
"In the first five minutes we did not capitalize the opportunities that we had and the other team was able to capitalize the mistakes that we have been making in the second half; but overall it was a good tournament and we were really excited to represent the United States in this tournament," he added.
Arric Alicea came to the tournament accompanied by his wife Andrea and their three-month-old son.
"You always want to end with a win," he said after the last game. "But it was a beautiful day, my wife played, my son is out here. We love soccer and we are happy on the field. Here we also had the chance to meet different people, different cultures. It is good for the community, it is good for each other."
"The final game today was a difficult game," explained the coach Kerr.
Rick Sbabo who has been playing in the post team for the past three years explained how it was a very good experience.
"Overall, it was a good tournament also because of the diversity of the teams that represented a variety of nations.
"The last game was a bit up and down. We went down early with three goals and then we tried to come back but we were very tired from all the previous games we have played.
"Last year we ended up being in third place, this year we placed second…next year we'll be first," he added.
At the end of the tournament, each team received a trophy at the presence of the Vicenza Mayor, who thanked everybody for participation.