TSD clinic brings soccer players to Kaua‘is

PUHI — University of Hawai‘i soccer player Jessica Domingo joined Mariko Strickland, who finished the 2006 year as a midfielder for San Diego State, and Kehau Hagiwara of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo soccer program.

The diverse field of collegiate players were part of the instructional team at the Team Soccer Direct clinic that opened yesterday at the Island School soccer complex.

Coach George Kuntz, the men’s soccer head coach at the University of California at Irvine, heads up the program that hosted about 80 youngsters in the Full Day Camp that runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kevin Devitt, the Kaua‘i Soccer Association coordinator for TSD, said the numbers could be better, but a lot of the players are off-island playing soccer or on family vacations.

Additionally, Devitt said this year’s TSD program will feature a High School Camp designed and open to all soccer players who aspire to get better at the game of soccer. The age group for the high school camp is 12 to 17 years old.

The high school camp runs from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Kuntz said in addition to Coach Christopher Cooper of UCI, he was happy the other local soccer players could join the team of instructors.

He said the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, where Cooper was a men’s soccer assistant coach, is currently working to build its soccer program. On hand for this clinic were assistant coach Alana Cabatu as well as Kehau Hagiwara, one of the Vulcan players.

“They are looking for players,” Kuntz said. “By bringing them to the community, this is the best way they can find players, and the community can become acquainted with them.”

He said that when soccer season starts at UCI, school is not in session so they rely heavily on community outreach for support.

During the camp that runs through Thursday, players are given professional instruction in areas such as skill training, tactical decision-making and position play.

This is done through a fun and interactive game format where youngsters are immersed in a game environment while learning the various skills necessary to help improve their game.

This is the fifth year TSD has been hosting the Elite Players Clinic on Kaua‘i. But TSD has been coaching youth for 29 years, touting the best soccer training in the western United States for the youth player, states a press release from TSD.

The TSD curriculum has been developed by NCAA coaches led by Kuntz.

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