General news

Published on June 23rd, 2014 | by Staples Soccer


Wreckers Rock The World Cup; US-Portugal Game Rocks The Town

Nearly 250 young soccer players swarmed the Staples athletic fields yesterday. And the Wrecker soccer program gave them a day they’ll always remember.

For an hour and a half, Staples varsity, JV and freshman team members showed the Westport Soccer Association kids the fun and excitement of the sport. There were mini-games, an obstacle course, a speed gun, penalty kick contests, and of course “World Cup” games.

Then it was off to the food trucks — pizza and meatballs — and on to the auditorium. The near-capacity crowd watched with chagrin as the US conceded a bad early goal to Portugal. They roared with delight as the Americans battled back. And they sat in shock — with the rest of the country — as Portugal’s end-of-stoppage-time header produced an amazing 2-2 draw.

“That’s what soccer is all about,” Staples head coach Dan Woog said. “Whether it’s the World Cup with amazing athletes, a Staples game with everything on the line, or a WSA match for kindergartners, it comes down to the joy of the sport. Soccer is fun — even if it’s also agony, like the end of today’s game — and we wanted to give Westport kids an introduction to what the world’s greatest sporting event is all about.”

Denzel Robinson, a senior who helped out with the obstacle course, said, “I loved watching the kids smile ecstatically. It reminded me of when I did the same things they were doing. I wanted them to feel as good as I did.”

Woog cited the “fantastic leadership” of the “creative, flexible, energetic and awesome” players who organized the events: Daniel Brill, Jack Zeldes and Joe Pravder (mini-games), Andrew Puchala and Brenden Price (obstacle course), Nate Argosh and Noah Schwaeber (World Cup games), Kenji Goto (speed gun) and James Lewis (penalty kicks). Another 30 players helped every aspect of the day run smoothly.

Woog praised the “invaluable help” of Simon Hallgarten and Doug Fincher (food), Brian Jersey (t-shirts), Cliff Sirlin (video), Barbara Amacker and Armelle Daniels (raffle), Glenn O’Neill and Al Puchala (fields), and dozens of other parents and friends.

The raffle included a behind-the-scenes tour of ESPN, led by Staples grad Jeremy Schaap; 6 pairs of Vivek Nagrani-designed US World Cup socks, donated by the Ruden Report, and 5 Staples soccer shirts donated by ASF.

“This was a true community event,” Woog concluded. “We love showing off the game, and our program. Now if only the US could have defended well for 10 more seconds…”

(Here are links to the Ruden Report — and one more by Dave Ruden — and Westport News stories on the event.)

HerStaples players (top rows) sit proudly with some of the 250 boys and girls who enjoyed the World Cup event. (Photo/Kim Lake)

Andrew Puchala shows some of the younger players exactly how it’s done. (Photo/Kim Lake)

Denzel Robinson and Sam Kantor help out on the obstacle course. (Photo/Kim Lake)

Spencer Henske (right) — son of Staples goalkeeper coach Tom Henske — proudly sports a USA shirt with his buddy. (Photo/Kim Lake)




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