3,000 young soccer players heading for La Jolla

By Kathy Day

Staff Writer

If you’re a fan of youth soccer, La Jolla is the place to be this weekend as nearly 3,000 youngsters are expected to play in the second annual La Jolla Labor Day Classic.

Fields throughout the community will be full of competitive boys and girls teams from Southern California and Arizona, with 22 or the more than 120 teams coming from La Jolla’s IMPACT program. They’ll range from the under-9 teams to under 19s.

Victor Zendejas, who coaches the IMPACT U-10 team, said the players are excited about the tournament.

“It’s triple-A caliber teams and lots of fun,” he added.

Tournament Director Rose Sanford said the event is a huge fundraiser that helps La Jolla Youth Soccer pay for lights and field maintenance and run its competitive and recreational teams.

“Hosting a tournament begins months before,” she said via e-mail, noting the organization runs from securing field permits to lining the fields ... “not to mention the endless phone calls and e-mails from coaches and managers.”

But, she added, “for me the most rewarding portion of directing the entire soccer tournament is on opening day and hearing that first whistle sound because then I know the fun has begun.”

Matches will be played at Allen Field, All Hallows school, Cliffridge Park, the French-American School, Muirlands, La Jolla High, La Jolla and Torrey Pines Elementary, the Jewish Community Center, Preuss UCSD and several others outside La Jolla. Finals will be on Monday at Allen Field and Muirlands. [gallery]