Pepi’s off to Vegas (without Vegas) for tourney |

Pepi’s off to Vegas (without Vegas) for tourney

VAIL – Longtime Pepi’s men’s soccer team veteran John Steffens will not be joining his teammates at this weekend’s Las Vegas Friendship Tournament.

But expect plenty of other fun stories to emanate from the local 11, heading to The Strip with a little soccer thrown in.

“We don’t want to have too much fun,” Pepi’s vet Daryl Goehring joked. “We do want to win some soccer games.”

Pepi’s is sending a good crew to Wayne-Newton Land to that end – Jeff Leonardo, Doug Schwartz, Tim Sullivan, Jeff Hayslipp, Aron Dube, Lance Mattus, Lee Jones, Kenny Loeber and Jarrett Osborn. Throw in John Grubbs and Chris Johnson of the Denver Rocks, California-import Robert Bekmanis and coach Ante Peros as well as Pepi’s alumni Johnny O’Sullivan, John Helmering and Brian Rhoades and the good times should be rolling.

Pepi’s has Saturday games against the Los Angeles Strikers and a team called “Some Wailers, Some Not.” Sunday, the team faces Doxia, Italy, followed by Schwaben from Chicago.

“It’s kind of exiting,” Goehring said. “Everybody’s excited to be playing some different teams. We’ve been practicing indoors so it will be an adjustment. But it will be cool in Vegas. It’s something like 65 degrees, which will be much better than the weather we get in Denver in the summer.”

Pepi’s hopes to go through to Monday’s elimination play, but one factor involved is that all work and no play makes Kenny Loeber a dull boy. Look for Goehring to try to strike it rich at the craps table, while Schwartz is a big blackjack fan. And, with the conference championship games set for Sunday in the NFL, if you’re looking for Leonardo, try the sports book.

Chris Freud is the sports editor for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or by e-mail at

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