Cougars lace up, go for indoor gold at Mini World Cup
Teams of students representing different countries came together on Saturday at Melcher Gymnasium to test their skills at the UH Mini World Cup.
The event brought together 10 teams to play more than 20 games in a seven hour period for two purposes: To bring awareness to a niche campus activity and to generate interest in a new club on campus.
“We’ve had a ton of people come out and support it, and that’s my favorite part,” said Julian Gomez, a marketing major.
“We are also generating a bunch of interest because a lot of people did not know that there was an indoor team forming.”
Gomez added that organizing with the tournament brought numerous benefits as he continued to develop the team.
Jose Pablo Ramirez, a management information systems major who has worked at previous Mini World Cups, elaborated on the benefits and origin of the tournament.
“We organized this tournament for numerous reasons; economically, we want to help pay for some of the expenses that come with forming a club, like jerseys, equipment and everything else,” Ramirez said.
“We got together and decided to change it a little, so we brought it (the tournament) indoors. Ultimately, we organized it to generate interest in the indoor soccer club here on campus.”
The tournament was also used as a scouting event.
As the indoor soccer club developed, Ramirez and Gomez agreed that a tournament of this magnitude would be an ideal way to gather players.
“We scout the games and if we notice someone special, we’ll send them an email so that we can contact them for future events and meetings,” Ramirez said.
“This is also why we’re trying to make money, so we can alleviate some of the economic pressure that comes with joining a team. It’s more appealing when you have good equipment to offer and a low membership fee.”
The tournament was initially rescheduled, creating numerous problems for the organizers who spent months planning the event.
Another problem organizers encountered was how teams would register and pay at the last minute.
“We’ve found that last-minute changes can challenge teams to make payment and registration deadlines,” Ramirez said.
“Some things are just out of our control.”
Gomez echoed Ramirez and said that in future events, he will be more strict with earlier registration deadlines.
Students interested in obtaining more information or joining the UH indoor soccer club can visit their Facebook page by searching University of Houston Indoor Soccer Club Team. They also hold scrimmages on Thursday evenings at Melcher Hall.
“This game is very different,” said Muhammad Alkassab, a Geology major and Netherlands team member.
“It requires a different skill, a better touch — and understanding of the game.”