Playing in a different setting didn’t seem to stop the Freeport Toros soccer team Oct. 5 at the Univision Cup in Houston as they finished first in the 2004-2005 White Division.
Playing as a 15U-16U team, the Toros are used to having 11 players on the field, but for this particular Cup it was different and fast.
“There were all kinds of teams from everywhere, but in this tournament we only played five-on-five instead of the normal 11-vervis-11 format,” Freeport Toros coach Elijio “Eli” Ochoa said. “In our 2004-2005 division we played some older teams, but we still finished first in our division. As a team we played together, and everything went well for us. For us it was more of an endurance day, because we have four matches in one day. Now they were short matches, but it was a hot day.”
The Freeport Toros came away with first place by defeating FC United, 7-3, in the title game.
“We were challenged in some games but maybe for a few minutes,” Ochoa said. “We practiced for this tournament because we knew it was going to be different and tough on us.
“We knew this was going to be a quicker game, and if we were going to be successful there were going to have to be a lot quicker passes, and everyone was going to play both offense, defense. This almost felt like indoor soccer.”
The fields were smaller and each half was only 20 minutes.
Freeport also defeated Poryecto Augila F 13-2, MSA Guerreros Blue 05B 8-0 and Metroplex United 5-2.
“This was normally one of our weekends off because we play year-round,” Ochoa said. “But since it was a weekend off, I selected the first eight players who could participate.”
The players who participated are mostly from Lake Jackson, Clute, Richwood, Freeport and Sweeny — Devin Soliz, Alan Villafana, Kevin Cortez, Kevin Garcia, Wilfran Ruiz, Aaron Vargas, Abraham Matter and Angel Lerma. Ulises Cortez was the assistant coach.