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Glenn Pursley, Published June 22 2012

Tri-City soccer club tests waters as a team

Fargo - The Tri-City Soccer Tournament has been around for five years, but what’s new this year is that Tri-City has its own soccer club participating in the tournament.

The Tri-City Storm Soccer Club was formed back in August of 2011 when the Red River Valley Soccer Club and the Moorhead Soccer Club merged. The club includes players from the Fargo-Moorhead area, West Fargo and even as far as Jamestown, N.D. The decision to merge was made with the idea that having fewer soccer clubs to focus on would provide a better service to the Fargo-Moorhead area.

“A community of this size is better served when we can operate as fewer organizations,” said Eric Pauly, the Tri-City tournament director. “We have more numbers now, and we can condense down to provide better utilization of our services.”

One goal of the Tri-City Storm is to match each player with an environment that fits one’s individual needs so players can reach their full potential. The merger also aims at producing teams that are capable of competing in interstate tournaments. When the two teams merged, players from the Red River and Moorhead soccer clubs attended practices and tryout sessions to be placed on their new teams based on age, skill level and dedication to the sport.

“What we really want to do is be an organization that’s here to meet the needs of the soccer players at whatever level they want to participate at,” Pauly said. “From the recreational players to the ones who want a higher level of training, we want to be able to provide those services to our community.”

Pauly joins with many coaches and players in seeing the underlying benefits of the recent change. Betsy Olesen, former Concordia Cobber women’s soccer player, coaches two teams for the Tri-City Storm SC and sees how the changes have taken effect first hand.

“It’s great,” Olesen said. “It creates a better training environment. We have more places to train and more people as well. It gives all the kids in the area a great opportunity.”

Another benefit for many of the players is new friendships formed on the same team by players that used to compete against each other.

”I loved getting to know all of the Fargo girls,” said Emma Gjesdahl, who previously played for the Moorhead SC. “It’s my favorite club I’ve played at. I really liked it. Betsy’s awesome.”

Olesen added: “It’s great for the kids to get to know some of the other players. It brings the community together in a different way.”

Pauly is optimistic about the future of the Tri-City Storm and feels they are on the right track.

“Anytime you do something new, there are some bumps in the road,” Pauly said. “We feel for our first year we are off to a good start. We recognize that there are things that we need to do better and we are trying to deal with those. We feel positive about where things are right now and where we are going.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter Glenn Pursley at (701) 241-5549