Freedom soccer adding summer teams
EDWARDS – It was so much fun this winter, they’re doing all over again this summer.
Coming on the heels of a successful inaugural Pro Arena Soccer League-Premiere season last winter, WECMRD Freedom Football Club will be launching two teams this summer.
The women will have their own PASL-Premiere indoor team come June and the men will also play outdoor soccer this summer under the Freedom banner in the newly-formed Colorado Mountain League. The women will play at the WECMRD Field House in Edwards, while the men’s home for the summer will be the adjacent Freedom Park.
“Once everyone saw how the winter (season) went the PASL commissioner spoke to us about forming a women’s indoor team,” WECMRD Freedom men’s player Matt Zaremba said. “We’ve had a lot of women playing co-ed this winter who expressed interest in forming a team and a lot of girls coming home from college.”
Official tryouts for the Freedom women’s team are on April 10 at 8 p.m. at the Field House. Zaremba added that the club will be flexible with the mud season approaching and with other potential players being at college or on vacation.
Women’s PASL-Premiere play is open to players 16 and older, and that leaves a lot of interesting possibilities for the Freedom this summer. Since Jim Sanders works at WECMRD and officiated some of the men’s games last winter, his daughter, Kelsey Sanders, a Battle Mountain alumna of 2007, is interested.
“I’m pumped to score lots of goals,” she said. “This is going to be awesome.”
Sanders plays varsity soccer in the fall for Northwest Missouri State, where she is junior double-majoring in biology and psychology. She lit up the 4A Western Slope as a high-school player at Battle Mountain scoring a record 69 career goals, and one can only imagine what she might do in the offensively-oriented indoor game.
One of the many intriguing possibilities for the women’s Freedom team is the other high school talent – past or present – from which the squad could draw. Sanders said she’d already talked to two-time Slope Player of the Year Emily LyBarger, who’s now at the University of Louisiana-Monroe, about playing.
“This winter, I got down there and played a lot,” Sanders said. “It was new (playing indoor) and definitely takes practice to get the hang of it. But it’s a good experience. It tests all the abilities of all soccer players.”
What’s more, there is a strong tradition of women’s soccer in the community with the Blue Moose/Gallegos teams of years past, so the Freedom should be strong.
According to Zaremba, PASL is assembling a league similar to that of Flight D during the winter for the men. The women’s Freedom would play teams like the Fort Collins Fury, with whom the men developed a spirited rivalry last season, along with other teams from the Front Range.
The season – four home games and four away contests – would start in June and climax with a similar playoff system in July with the league winner getting a berth to nationals.
Keeping the gang together
Meanwhile, the men’s Freedom team will keep going. The expansion team went 5-3-2 (including playoffs) last winter in indoor play, finishing second in the Rocky Mountain Division.
The gents will be playing outdoor soccer as part of Colorado Mountain League, a ski town circuit, as well as in assorted in-state tournaments.
“It’s going to be a little more fun, but competitive,” Zaremba said. “We just want to have some way to give our players a way of staying in the game.”
The new league will not have the Fury – Fort Collins plays summer indoor, so the rematch will come next year – but Glenwood Springs, New Castle and Pepi’s will all be in the circuit with communities like Frisco, Steamboat Springs and Craig still deciding whether to enter.
For more information on Freedom soccer, call 970-766-5555.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.