Danny, the grandson of Crookston's Dan and Vicki Svedarsky, made an impact on quite the stage.
The 35th annual Target USA CUP soccer games recently concluded on July 20 at the National Sports Center in Blaine after five days of competition. This year’s tournament featured 1,152 teams from 22 states and 19 countries making it the largest youth soccer tournament in the Western Hemisphere. Over 50 championship games were played on Saturday comprising different age groups of boys and girls.
Danny Svedarsky played with “Futbol Consultants,” a team of 13-year-olds from San Jose, Costa Rica who won all six of their games. Four of their competing teams were from Minnesota, one from Wisconsin and the last team for the championship game coming from Trinidad and Tobago, an island complex off the northern tip of South America. They won their last game 5-0, but probably their toughest competition was their fourth game against the White Bear Soccer Club, winning 2-1 in overtime. Svedarsky, who ordinarily played defense, scored the winning goal.
“It was pretty exciting to score the winning goal in international competition,” noted Svedarsky.
Svedarsky’s first international competition was at the Disney Cup in Orlando, Fla. in the summer of 2018.
“[The Disney Cup] wasn’t nearly as much fun as coming to the National Sports Center in Minnesota,” Svedarsky said.
Team members stayed with various host families in the Twin Cities which added to the international experience.
Svedarsky is the son of Alex and Carol Svedarsky and grandson of Dan and Vicki Svedarsky of Crookston. Alex and Carol operate the In-Balance Fitness Studio in San Jose, Costa Rica where Alex has lived since 1992 after completing his degree in Physical Education at Moorhead State University. Alex was a football and track (6-foot, 6-inch high jumper) standout at Crookston High School before moving on to college football at the U of MN and Moorhead State University.
The Target USA Cup is unique as it is the only tournament of its size in the world that holds all its games on a single contiguous campus at the National Sports Center in Blaine. The 600-acre sports campus has 50 full-size soccer fields, a 5,500-seat stadium, an 8-sheet ice arena, and an 18-hole golf course. Minnesota United FC, nicknamed The Loons, is Minnesota’s only professional soccer team and has a training ground at the National Sports Center. Several of the visiting soccer players were treated to a Loons soccer team match during the USA Cup event.
Svedarsky had some local fans in the stands cheering during the competition in addition to his immediate family: Jill and Mario Schisano from Crookston, Marco Schisano and sons, Nico and Luciano from Chisago Lakes, cousin Ariston Svedarsky from Waconia and Dan and Vicki Svedarsky from Crookston.