Palo Alto Boys Go International
Nineteen boys from our Palo Alto Soccer club traveled to Gothenburg, Sweden to participate in the largest youth soccer tournament in the world, Gothia Cup!
In July, the team, a combination of the 00/01 boys from the club traveled together to the beautiful country of Sweden to take part in this huge tournament with over 82 countries being represented and with over 1700 teams.
Planning began last September with fundraising, outlining the trip and continuous communications with players and Gothia Cup organizers to ensure the boys had the “experience of a lifetime”.
Even though soccer was what brought these players to Sweden, all the players experienced much more than this. Meeting people from all over the world was amazing and to see the energy, the passion and the commitment was like no other tournament they have attended.
The team was led by coach Rafa Soares, who already took many of these players to Brazil two years ago. “It was amazing”, Rafa Soares commented after opening ceremonies. He was continued to be amazed throughout the week with the all the events and teams. “I would like to bring a team to Gothia Cup every year for players to experience this.”
Many of the boys befriended the teams from Ghana, not only trading jerseys, banners and pins, but also supporting their teams in the finals. “It was fun to talk with them every day,” said Jakob Motogawa, Palo Alto 00 Blue. “they pumped us up for each game with their hilarious pregame rituals.”
This is an experience that bonds teams in soccer, but also opens the eyes of all participants to beauty of all nations coming together under soccer.