International style soccer tourney comes to West Island

By Kevin Woodhouse

For Sam Gabbay, vice-president of Dollard Soccer Club, the idea that only the intercity soccer players could participate in tournaments seemed unfair since for him, the grass roots of soccer stems from house league play, the idea of a international style soccer tournament for the West Island’s house league players was born with the eighth edition of the International Cups, Kids Playing for Kids, taking place during the month of September in Dorval.

To kick off the month long tournament, opening ceremonies for the event will happen on Saturday, Aug. 31 at the Sarto Desnoyers Park in Dorval and like in tournaments past, will parallel a real international event; this year’s inspiration being the FIFA under 20 World Cup that occurred in Turkey.

“We like to create our tournaments based on FIFA events and then try to replicate them in our own way,” Gabbay told The Suburban. “When we asked Dorval to be the host city this year, they will be playing the part of Turkey where the under 20 tournament took place this past June.”

The 24 teams from across the West Island will be playing as one of the teams in the Turkey tournament. Gabbay noted that in 2015 when the Women’s World Cup is hosted in Canada, that will be a special local tournament when the event turns 10.

There are five different age groups for both female and male athletes which are made up of 13 house league teams in the region. Like international competitions, the opening ceremonies will feature team introductions as well as flag bearers denoting what country each team is representing.

The tournament, besides giving house league players a chance to extend their soccer season an extra month, also raises money for two Montreal hospitals: The Children’s and Ste. Justine’s with the tournaments having raised $182,000 since 2006.

“The kids get to play more soccer, support the teams and learn about a new culture while raising money for two great causes,” said Gabbay.

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