Soccer teams head to Utah to play real games

Press file photo

West Coast Soccer Club teams will be in action this weekend during a showcase in Utah. The teams haven’t played since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

West Coast Soccer Club teams are returning to action this weekend, but they will be a few states away.

Tired of waiting for a loosening of California’s pandemic-induced stoppage of play, West Coast Soccer Club President Troy Dayak has organized a 40-team showcase in the more lenient state of Utah.

“Oh man, we are so ready,” Dayak said this week. “I think everyone is ready to get out of California to play some games.”

Seven West Coast Soccer teams and 33 others, including squads from Utah, Washington, Nevada and Wyoming, will play three games each over three days at the Regional Athletic Complex in Salt Lake City.

It will be the first organized game action in about seven months for the West Coast squads, represented by U-13 to U-18 teams.

“Mostly it’s just getting back into shape with the whole team and getting our flow back together right now,” said Jayden Sanders, a Heritage High student and West Coast Soccer Club player.

Despite the excitement of returning to play, the COVID-19 pandemic that has halted California action since March will be on everyone’s minds.

The showcase will feature an onsite COVID-19 protocol manager and a host of safeguards, including participant temperature checks; a limited number of spectators that will be social distanced; a prohibition on hand contact between teams, and many other disease-controlling measures.

Nothing, however, will halt the return-to-play elation.

For seven months, California squad players and others have been adhering to government-imposed safety measures ranging from a prohibition on organized group activity to maintaining six feet of distance from all other squad members and ten feet from any other teams or groups during training.

Dayak said all funding from the event has been poured right back into it to provide participants a long-needed athletic outlet at a fine facility, with top-level referees and an on-site film crew.

The professional film crew will be in attendance to capture all the action, providing fresh game film to some college coaches seeking prospects for the first time since March.

“That’s the whole key, just getting the kids out and giving them something to do,” said Dayak. “They have been cooped up for a long time. Everyone else in the country is playing already. There are thousands of games going on each and every week for the past four months.”

All the action is scheduled to begin on Oct. 9 and run through Oct. 11.

For complete showcase information, visit