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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of December 3 - 9, 2003


Sawtooth United Premier to play in Holland

Local kickers plan summer trip

Express Staff Writer

The standard of play for girls’ soccer in the Wood River Valley is about to rise.

Next summer a group of Sawtooth United Premier players will take a 10-day trip to the Netherlands for soccer clinics, matches and a tournament.

Premier soccer program, an elite division of Sawtooth United Football Club (SUFC), was created by local coaches Greg and Laura Gvozdas to give high school girls the opportunity to further their soccer and travel opportunities.

Richard Whitelaw, Sawtooth United director of coaches, is enthusiastic about the trip.

"It is a wonderful opportunity for them to travel overseas and see the standard of play in Europe. They will all come back better players.

"Everyone is passionate about soccer over there and they have different standards. They are more professional and more serious. It will benefit both high school soccer programs immensely," Whitelaw remarked.

In early November, 30 high school-aged girls from The Community School and Wood River tried out for the squad. Twenty players and two alternates were selected.

Junior players include Cassidy Doucette, Ireland King, Ashley Mardian, Erin McQueen, Gussi Ochi, Jessie Pieschl, Lexie Praggastis, and Gina Thomas.

Margii Driscoll heads up a group of five sophomores with Lauren Eder, Katie Jensen, Nicole Schulz and Laura Speck.

Freshmen team members are Ellen Ard, Calley Brown, Tara Cappel, Kacie Femling, Kaitlin Gasenica, Brianna Hull-Mullins and Danielle Smith. Sara Berman and Krista Detwiler are the alternates.

Over the winter, team members will have a group of fitness benchmarks they have to meet and pass to remain eligible.

"They will also have to put in a strong effort for their Sawtooth United teams in the spring," Greg Gvozdas remarked.

On the first of June, the squad will begin practicing three times a week in preparation for its July 15 departure.

The trip includes an intensive three-day clinic in Maastricht, the Netherlands, with coaches from the Royal Netherlands Soccer Federation (KNVB).

The clinic will include a "friendly" match against a local team as well as travel opportunities to Belgium and Germany.

Sawtooth Premier will also compete in the Holland Cup in Almere, which includes tourney play against teams from several countries.

The tour is being arranged by Euro-Sporting, a U.S. company which organizes European soccer trips for American college, club and varsity soccer programs.

"There is a bigger picture than just this one summer," Gvozdas said. "We want to make this trip successful enough to make it a lasting part of valley soccer."

Gvozdas is currently the head of the undefeated Wood River junior varsity girls’ team and has been a coach with Sawtooth United since 2002.

Both Greg and Laura Gvozdas played soccer at DePauw University in Indiana. Laura Gvozdas was a member of Wood River High School’s first state championship team.

The pair will be joined by Farrell Swain, the current skipper of the Wood River High boys’ jayvee soccer team, and Rob Butterfield, the Laurent Perrier women’s coach.

To help offset the cost of the trip, Sawtooth Premier is seeking sponsorship from local companies.

The business names/logos of sponsors will be displayed on team uniforms and practice jerseys. Sawtooth United F.C. is a 501©3 organization so all donations are tax deductible. For details call 727-1687 or e-mail, [email protected]



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