Over the summer we spend most of our weekends traveling around Southern California attending soccer tournaments. As always, all opinions are my own and based on personal experience unless otherwise noted. If you have reviews of your own, please add in the comments!
Name: Dave Shelton Memorial(FC Heat)
Cost:$550 U9/U13 $625 U14/U19
Location: Ryan Park, Escondido
Application Process/Coaching Conflicts:The application process was easy, and the tournament director (Suzie Stephens- my new friend!!) bent over backwards to accommodate us. She was awesome and amazing.
Check In:At field before first game. Hooray! It was organized and easy.
Rules: 10 Point System; 20 minute halves for U9/U10 25 minute halves for U11/U14 30 minute halves for U15 and above. Championship game were 5 minutes longer per half resulting in PKs if tied.
Number of Teams at our Age Level:4 teams
Strength of Competition: Overall there was a mix of teams in our bracket with 2 higher level teams and 2 teams who are just starting out. The top two teams battled it out in pool play and then in the finals.
Fields:All the games were played at Ryan Park which is a beautiful multi field facility. There were concession stands galore as well as real bathrooms- hooray! It was a great tournament atmosphere. Parking was plentiful, but some of it was on dirt. I wish we had something like this close to home.
Referees:Some of the refs were very young, including one hilarious side ref who was about the same age as the girls. He was great though and had the quote of the day, “Don’t you think referees should have to pass a hearing and eyesight test?” after numerous incorrect offside calls. We had a great ref for the final who complimented our coach and our girls after the game.
Weather:HOT, HOT, HOT. This is the hottest I’ve ever been at a tourney. It was over 100 degrees and after sitting in the sun for hours, my car said this when I got back to it… Yep, it says 111 degrees.
I was concerned about the girls, but fortunately the refs gave water breaks in the middle of each half. It was definitely needed and I’m glad they took the health of the kids into consideration. My kid traditionally doesn’t do well in heat, but she’s done a lot of conditioning lately and I think it made a big difference.
Restaurants/Attractions:This was an away weekend for us and we had a great time!!!
We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott in Rancho Bernardowhich was very accommodating. The rooms were a nice size and the facility had a pool and a restaurant. The restaurant hired extra servers so that we could have our whole party (about 40 people) eat together on Saturday night. The girls played in the pool a bit and then came in the dining room to eat. It was perfect and so easy. (Good thing that people didn’t have to drive….lol)
On Friday night we ate at the Elephant Bar in Rancho Bernardowhich had great food, but the service was a bit slow. Most people drove down on Saturday so this was only a party of 12. The manager was very nice and booked a table for us in advance.
For lunch on Saturday we took a wrong turn going to the freeway, but found a little gem of a restaurant in Escondido called Rock n’ Jenny’s Italian Subs. The food was amazing, but it’s on the small side so it wouldn’t be a good place for a team lunch.
For lunch on Sunday we all went to Spires Restaurant which was fine, but very slow and had trouble fitting us all in. We squeezed together and most importantly, all the girls were able to sit together, eat and cool off in the air conditioning.
Overall Thoughts: This is the first time we’ve played in this tournament and although it was very well organized, I’m not sure if we’ll go back. The heat was crazy!!! We had such a fun weekend though and brought home another championship! Thanks again to FC Heat for a great tourney. Someone especially liked the medal ceremony…