Leeds club brings its own style to CDO soccer tourney - The Explorer: Sports

Leeds club brings its own style to CDO soccer tourney

Brits found the weekend weather familiar

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Posted: Wednesday, December 17, 2008 12:00 am | Updated: 8:03 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Sunday’s soccer game at Riverfront Park, replete with a chilly drizzle falling from slate gray skies, felt pretty familiar to Simon Collins and the under-12 boys team from the Leeds Schools Football Association.

The British team and their tour director came to Oro Valley last week to compete in the CDO Soccer Classic. Instead of the expected sunshine, they found something different.

“I’ve talked to some people and they said there hasn’t been weather like this for a year and a half or something, so I think it must be us,” smiled Collins.

It wasn’t only the weather that made the Englishmen stop and think – the American version of Europe’s favorite pastime defied expectations, as Leeds advanced to the title game before losing to the local 97 Oro club, 3-2.

“The game in America is more direct, not as many sideways passes,” said Leeds coach Matthew Keddie. “I think it has to do with your sports, in American football you don’t play backwards.”

The athletic nature of American youth also surprised the visitors.

“A lot of your players are fitter than ours,” said Keddie. “You have the facilities to train more, the infrastructure in England is not the same.”

“The American game has developed, it’s getting closer and closer to what we have in England,” said Keddie.

Keddie was also excited to share something beyond sport with his players.

“Experiencing other people’s cultures is what’s interesting,” said Keddie.

“I teach at a school in inner-city Leeds, but it’s a poor school, these kids never get to go on holiday more than 20 miles, let alone go to America,” he added. “I’ve been to Cross Middle School and Copper Creek Elementary, and everyone has been really welcoming.”

The bond created through a love of soccer helped Keddie’s team through some unexpected bumps in the road.

“The families have been superb, one of our boys is really ill, but the family just kept him there,” said Keddie. “They’ve been amazing.”

The team was also able to experience some more American-style sports, attending an ice hockey game, as well as the University of Arizona’s football game against Arizona State University.

“Just a bit of rivalry there,” said Keddie. “Rivalry to match Manchester United and Manchester City.”

Driving to these events was an eye-opener for the team, said Keddie.

“It’s just so spread out,” he said with a smile. “To get anywhere good it seems like you have to drive for two hours.”

Driving time aside, coming across the pond was a great experience, said director Simon Collins of United Soccer Tours.

“I mean, how often do you get to play on a pitch (field) with mountain views?” he said.

Steve Wallace, coach of the CDO club, hopes to see more teams come from elsewhere to Southern Arizona. “It’s handy for us,” said Wallace, who pointed out the Leeds players were in Phoenix as well. “If we get more exposure, we get more teams from overseas.”

Keddie doesn’t know when he’ll get to return to America, but says he’s taking at least one big impression back to England with him.

“I certainly think the girls in America are better than our girls,” he said. “There’s no difference between girls and boys here – they both grow up with a soccer ball at their feet.

“It’s pretty cool.”

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)


Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions


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