Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

SPORTING LIFE: Soccer League Fun for All Levels

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

SPORTING LIFE: Soccer League Fun for All Levels

Article excerpt

With this summer's World Cup, soccer fever spread throughout the country, perhaps nowhere more so than among the groups who gather each Tuesday and Thursday at Tuscaloosa's Munny Sokol Park North.

That's where you'll find not only die-hard soccer fans but adults who can't get enough of playing the sport. The nearly 200-strong are taking part in the Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority's summer adult soccer league.

"You'd watch it and want to immediately go out and play," said Erika DiCosimo, a junior at the University of Alabama from Sugarland, Texas, who plays for the Yellowhammers in PARA's recreational league. "It's so much fun. I really like it. It's not stressful, like if you go out there and mess up, no one is going to care. It's just fun to get out there and play. I played growing up, but I'm playing here in the fun league. I wanted to just go out and play and enjoy. I didn't want to do anything too serious. The other league is so much more competitive."

The "fun" league in which DiCosimo refers to is the recreational league, or the Championship Division, and it includes six teams. The adult league also includes the Premiership Division, which is the competitive division, consisting of eight teams.

This is the third season PARA has hosted adult soccer and its first as an official Alabama Soccer Association sanctioned league. Players range in age from 16 to 55 and include men and women.

"We have a good, wide array of people, men and women, old and young. Anybody who enjoys just playing the game casually has had a good time out there," said PARA's Bradlee Colburn. "I think as the league grows we can start offering options such as or even a whole women's league or an over-35 league. But for right now, it's just open. We let people self-select what league they want to play in based on competitive or rec team. That's how they fill their rosters."

The season, which is shortened in summer, officially began on June 17. The regular season concludes on July 22 followed by a postseason tournament in August. Each team plays at least one night a week. Some play both Tuesday and Thursday nights. …

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