Mario Anselmo wants nothing more than to pass a love of soccer onto the next generation. It's the main reason he's helped organize the Caruso Club Men's Soccer Tournament for the past 19 years.
The 20th edition of the tournament takes place Aug. 4-6 at the James Jerome Sports Complex and Anselmo is, once again, heading up the organizing committee.
"We have a passion for the game and we're trying to get others to have a passion for the game, otherwise it will die," Anselmo said at a press conference announcing this year's tournament. "We want soccer to improve here and we're trying to get some of the younger players to participate."
Anselmo has about 50 years of some kind of involvement in soccer under his belt, whether it be playing, coaching or helping to organize tournaments.
"We want to bring teams in from out of town to show that the local players can compete at the same level," he said.
The competition at the tournament has always been good, the chair said, and the Sudbury teams have held their own.
"We've had two local teams over the past 20 years win the championship — in 1994 and 2010."
This year, 15 men's teams from across the province will be vying for the tournament's substantial prize money, which, according to Anselmo, is always a big draw for the tournament. This year, the pot has been raised by about $5,000 — first place takes home $6,000, second gets $3,000, third $2,000 and fourth $1,000. As well, the winners of each of the three divisions receives $300.
To help celebrate the tournament's 20th anniversary, and in addition to the traditional Italian food offered, organizers have added a bikini competition into the mix. There will also be a DJ playing throughout the tournament.
Games will begin Saturday at 9 a.m., and run through the weekend with quarter-finals taking place Sunday afternoon, and the semifinals and final taking place Monday.
For more information, or for a full schedule, visit www.carusoclubsoccertournament.ca.
Posted by Laurel Myers