On Saturday morning the University of Central Arkansas UCA was home to eight youth teams and their families, competing at the 6th UCA Copa Amigo.
Manny Sepulveda organizer of the event wanted to rejuvenate the participation of teams and it worked. “We decided to make the Copa Amigo for one reason, this effort would allow us to approach the Latino community and we support the project,” said Tom Courtway, President of UCA.
The teams from Northwest Arkansas once again wiped out everything in front of them. Rogers and Springdale finished first and second respectively. Both teams reached the final and had to define the championship in penalties.
Atletico Rogers ran with better luck, ended up winning first place after his goalkeeper executed the last penalty that gave them the crown.
“I think it’s a great idea to have used soccer as a tool to reach the Latino community. Soccer is passion and can be used to give an opportunity to our children. The importance of speaking two languages at home and that parents put children to read not only in English but also in Spanish,” added UCA Professor Alberto Rivera.
The awards ceremony was emotional for the children. The technical director of the Cachorritos with broken voice said: “Thanks to the parents for bringing the children, I thank Manny Sepulveda and UCA for the invitation.”
The Copa Amigo this year added a health fair to provide information to the Latino community. Also, two buses transported students from the city of De Queen to visit the UCA facilities.
The arbitration was of first level, with Rigoberto Chavez who was assigned the final, he is one of the pioneers of soccer in central Arkansas.
Fotos: José López