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West Side International Soccer to host Street Soccer Tournament

West Side International Soccer, a non-profit soccer club that caters to refugees and low-income families, will host its fourth annual Street Soccer Tournament beginning at 10 a.m. July 9 at Front Park, near the Peace Bridge entrance and across Porter Avenue from the D'Youville soccer field.

The 4-vs.-4 tournament is played on concrete in the parking lot with small lined fields with small goals and no goalies. The style rewards players with soft touch, quickness and creativity, as well as those teams that can work together well in tight quarters.

Each team is guaranteed three, 22-minute games in the group stage, with the division leaders advancing to the playoffs. For those interested in competing, the cost per team (maximum six players) is $120, with proceeds benefiting WSIS. Registration is online here, or contact Mateo Escobar at 536-0944 to register a team or inquire about more information.

Now four years old, West Side boasts a year-long house league program and several travel soccer teams that compete in the Western New York Junior Soccer League during the summer. Players compete at no expense, except for small jersey and registration fees that are refunded at the end of each season (to guard against players quitting).

West Side is aided by the efforts of volunteers, many of whom play in the Buffalo & District Soccer League, like Ross Karipidis (BSC Inter), Graham Vosburg (Rampart FC), Zach Schlei (Yemen Elite) and more. The tournament's primary sponsor is the Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers' Association Charitable Foundation.

Email Ben Tsujimoto at btsujimoto@buffnews.com

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