WAGS Tournament: Manhattan Hotspur coach hopes for exposure, family time for players
By Roger Gonzalez
The five-hour hike from New York City landed Manhattan SC Hotspur U-16 squad, the 2011 State Cup finalist of New York, at the 37th Annual WAGS Rael Vodicka Memorial Tournament with one main thing in mind: to get some exposure.
The coach, Jason Weisberg, wanted his girls to put on a show and get themselves on the radar of the collegiate tacticians in attendance.
“It’s always something that we do think about,” Weisberg said of going to major competitions. “It’s a tough time of the year because they are all playing high school ball.”
The debate of whether to come down for this competition proposed an easy question: ‘Is it worth it?’ The answer was so simple.
“Coaches are going to go where the teams are,” said Weisberg, praising the competition at WAGS. “We wanted to challenge ourselves.”
And they did. The ladies took on VSA Heat Blue (Va.) on Friday, losing 4-0, beat Sting Royal of Texas on Saturday by a goal and tied Lehigh Valley United on Monday morning. Overall, the coach was pleased with the display.
“There are certain players that we have who are on the radar that can play [in college],” Weisberg said, feeling that his team improved from day one by displaying individual and team skill.
Departing Virginia on Monday afternoon, the coach felt that the mission of getting good exposure was completed with several college coaches watching his team’s games, many of who were taking note of which players they liked, discussing with other coaches the pros and cons of some athletes.
While he is content with the time his girls got in front of the coaches, he just hopes that one other thing took place. He hopes that his girls were able to enjoy some time with their parents during this weekend trip, stressing the importance of family. Living in New York, with all that’s going on, it can be hard for these girls to spend as much time with their parents as they would like.
“This team is unique,” he said. “We have been together for a while. The kids loving being with each other, the parents really get along, which you don’t find as much. They really do enjoy coming. For the parents, it’s really important. They get that time with their daughters that they don’t normally have with day-to-day stuff going on.”
Not many look at the occasion as a bonding moment with family, but soon these girls will be off to college. With the weekend done and a long ride home in store, with many to come, the families are taking advantage of every second, as the girls did on the field.
“Just that one-on-one time, they appreciate it,” Weisberg said.