Soccer league kickin’ it to the next level

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There’s no doubt, soccer is the biggest, most important sport in the Hmong community. Despite the growth of other sports like basketball and flag football, the largest gatherings that the Hmong participate in still revolve around soccer (The Fourth of July Sports Festival in St. Paul and the Hmong New Year in Fresno).

Aside from the sprinkling of tournaments that are held throughout the summer, however, there was surprisingly no such thing as “organized” soccer for adults.

Until now that is.

In its third week of existence, co-founder Chang Vang is optimistic that the Minnesota Asian Soccer League will become a long-standing institution for all soccer players to look forward to each year.

Having played soccer for over a decade, Chang realized that “Hmong soccer wasn’t going anywhere.” So like most people who want to see progress, he decided to do something about it.

Teaming up with Victor Vang from Fo Sho Productions who runs a successful basketball league, Chang found a park willing to accommodate the league. The next step was to persuade teams to participate, which Chang explained was easy because “everybody has been waiting for a league.”

Held each Sunday until June 18 (except for the weeks of May 14 & 28), the games begin at noon and don’t end until 5 or 6.

There are eight teams this season which include players at all levels, including some at the college-level. The competition, according to the organizers, is intense and entertaining. “There are even players who drive all the way from Wisconsin each week to play, so you know it’s intense!”

It’s also important to note that the organizers are not planning to make any kind of monetary profit from the league. Investing all the proceeds from the team registrations back to the league, the sponsors only hope is to see the league continue to grow and become an annual event.

Come watch the most intense game in town! League games are held each Sunday at McDonough Field in St. Paul from 12 noon – 5 PM.

For more information, call Chang Vang at 651-785-7269 or go to www.foshopro.com to see the entire schedule.

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