Tracy Futbol Club’s under-16 girls Crossfire are playing on the world stage this week.
Crossfire traveled to Minnesota this week to take on international competition at the Schwan’s USA Cup, now in its 30th year.
The local soccer team has already faced teams from Minnesota and Mexico. The format of the five-day tournament — Tuesday through Sunday — begins with round-robin play, and teams progress to either the championship bracket or the consolation bracket.
Crossfire opened with a 3-1 win over En Fuego of Forest Lake, Minn., on Tuesday, and clinched a place in the championship bracket with a 1-0 win over CC United of Chanhassen/Chaska, Minn., on Wednesday. Crossfire then beat Kipling Girls of Mexico City 7-1 on Thursday .
With six groups in the 25-team U16 Silver division, Crossfire could also face teams from Canada, Iceland and Norway.
Organizers bill the event as the largest soccer tournament in the Western Hemisphere, with more than 1,000 teams from 17 countries playing at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn. The 600-acre athletic complex includes 52 soccer fields — a Guinness World Record for the most soccer fields in a single complex — and an 8,500-seat stadium and other sports venues.
Crossfire coach Lance Delbridge said that the team raised $13,000, starting in November, to take the full team to the event.
“For all of these girls, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” he said, adding that for it was the first tournament outside California for some team members.
A bonus for the team was a chance to represent California in the opening ceremonies on Tuesday night. All teams are introduced in the Olympic-style ceremonies, and Crossfire was invited to appear on stage with teams representing the other countries and U.S. states at the event.
Contact Bob Brownne at email@example.com or 830-4227.