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Tournaments Aug 27, 2012

New turf, American style appreciated at PWSI Toys For Tots

By Roger Gonzalez

He walked from the parking lot at Howison Park with his a chair in hand and family all around. Approaching the field, he paced up a little hill to get a look at the entire complex. Then, with a face full of surprise, he had to take off his sunglasses to really get a good look at what was in front of him.

Issac Reyes, a native of Honduras, was one of the many parents at the 2012 PWSI Toys for Tots Tournament who got their first look at the new Howison after its recent addition of a brand-new turf field just days before the competition began.

“Very excellent, the fields are great,” Reyes said. “We are very impressed because two months ago, my daughter played here in another tournament, and now the field is great.

“This field wasn’t here. It’s a very pretty field.”

Reyes praised the facilities at Howison and the event’s overall atmosphere. The new turf field is one of the many improvements that tournament hosts Prince William Soccer, Inc. are making to their most prominent venue, ensuring that the club and its neighbors have fields suitable enough to handle game upon game throughout the season. And given soccer’s exploding popularity in Prince William County and throughout Northern Virginia, it’s a much-needed upgrade.

Reyes remained amazed, relaxing in his chair while cheering on his daughter for the entire contest.

The Central American also took time to talk about the influence of Latino players on the game in the United States. In much of Latin America, the beauty of passing and ball control is stressed above all, whereas in the U.S., soccer sometimes features more direct play and less patience and ball movement. Reyes has noticed the difference, but he says there are no issues for one main reason.

“In my opinion, it all depends,” said Reyes, whose daughter was born here. “If they are born here, if they are raised here, they adopt the style from here. But if I go play with an American, it is so much different.”

Heading into Sunday afternoon, Reyes couldn’t wait to get back to the fields and continue cheering on his daughter. He said the whole family has had a blast at Toys for Tots.

“It’s excellent,” he said. “There is a lot to do, a lot of activities.”

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