Saskatoon soccer players represent heritage in annual World Cup tournament
Saskatoon soccer players sported jerseys from their heritage in the eighth annual World Cup tournament over the May long weekend.
“It just kind of shows how diverse our city actually is,” said Julio Diaz, an organizer of the event. “It gives (the players) the chance to actually come together and play the game that usually play in their home countries.”
The tournament gives Kristen Swiotecki the chance to show off his Polish heritage.
“It started out for us playing for our country,” he said. “Now, we’re representing our fans and all the homegrown Polish players that we have here.”
The tournament brings out some tough competition, but the respect between clubs is even stronger.
“I think it’s the vibe, it’s the energy,” said Evrol Clarke from Team Morocco. “Other cultures can come together and actually play soccer, and it’s a peaceful and a fun environment.”
Kristy Husiak decided to mix things up this year. Even though she’s not from Iceland, she wanted to give the country a little bit of love.
“Typically people choose teams like England, Spain and Brazil,” she said. “We just thought it would be exciting to put in a new country this year.”
There are more than 70 teams competing in this year’s tournament. As it continues to grow, organizers hope to use the World Cup to give back to the community.
“We’re looking at sponsoring individual players that can’t really afford to play club soccer or academy soccer to give them the opportunity to play,” said Diaz.
Based on a report by CTV's Mark Villani