American youth soccer has become so captivating that a whole website, gotsoccer.com, has been devoted to figuring out who is the best. But standard soccer can often be slow with long stretches of passing as teams look for the chance to score. And then there’s the traveling to fields in the middle of nowhere. It might all be fun for the player as they chase their dream of being the next Carli Lloyd or Clint Dempsey, but it could be tough for the family.
This year, the inaugural Global Fives National Tournament looked to address those problems with quick and interesting five-a-side games. The competition was held last weekend at a family-friendly and picturesque location in Hoboken, New Jersey.
The other thing that set the competition apart was its social media aspect. Players, families, friends, and fans could follow the Global 5s on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. There was even a Snapchat filter for the tournament where participants and attendees could post pictures showing their location at the tournament. So while kids were playing hard on the field, the people the stands were competing too — not to score goals, but to take the best pictures.
A clear effort was made by organizers to create a different kind of soccer tournament. And from the style of play on the pitch to taking care of people off it, that work clearly paid off.
U8 Boys Cedar Stars
U9 Girls Blue Sisters
U9 Boys Ironbound Warriors
U10 Boys NJ Fire
U11 Boys EPD Suarez
U11 Girls Levittown Lady Galaxy
U12 Boys EPD Messi
U12 Girls – Massapequa
U13 Boys - EPD Pogba
U13 Girls - Sandwich Hurricaines
U14 Boys FCUSA New York Levittown Gunners
U14 Girls - FCUSA Coastal
U16 Boys - Hicksville Latin Boys
U16 Girls - Spirit of Liverpool
Photos: Global Fives National Tournament