Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

High School All-Star Touch Comes Here with Puma Cup

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

High School All-Star Touch Comes Here with Puma Cup

Article excerpt

There has never been a shortage of top-level amateur soccer in St. Louis. Between college, high school and select play, area fans can usually find a match worth taking in.

But the Puma Cup Invitational, being played today through Saturday at St. Louis Soccer Park, figures to be something special.

The Puma Cup is the nation's only all-star boys soccer tournament for high school seniors. Top players from throughout the United States will compete on four regional teams in the round-robin event.

The top two finishers meet in the title match at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The consolation game is 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Puma Cup, which benefits the National Soccer Hall of Fame, was kicked off last year at the hall's campus in Oneonta, N.Y.

So why the move to St. Louis?

"First of all, we recognize St. Louis as a great soccer community and we're hopeful that the people of St. Louis will support us," Puma Cup spokesman Matthew Bannister said. "St. Louis works well for us geographically and the St. Louis Soccer Park is one of the finest facilities of its kind in the United States.

"We're excited about being in St. Louis and we're hopeful that we can make this an annual event here."

Play begins tonight with the Midwest playing the West at 6 and the East and South squaring off at 8. In 10 a.m. games Friday, the Midwest plays the East and the South takes on the West.

Round-robin play wraps up Friday, with the Midwest playing the South at 6 p.m. and the East and West meeting at 8.

Admission is $4 and will allow entry to all matches. Fans age 10 and under get in free.

The festivities will include a free youth clinic Saturday for boys and girls ages 8-12. The clinic, sponsored by Puma USA, will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Soccer Park and will be conducted by the Puma Cup players and coaches. All participants receive a T-shirt and a ticket for Saturday evening's contests.

Players in the tournament were selected by regional advisory committees for their soccer excellence, academic achievement and community involvement.

Six area players will compete for the Midwest squad. They are: goalkeeper Casey Klipfel (Vianney); goalkeeper Clay Hunter (Collinsville), midfielder Tony Williams (Vianney); midfielder Matt Zimmer (Parkway South); forward Chris Klein (DeSmet); and forward Drew Krafcik (St. …

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