Soccer Outkicks Football in Preseason Park Scrimmage
Pitted against each other in a preseason scrap for use of Valley View Sports Park, the Junior United Soccer Assn. and the local Pop Warner football league asked the City Council to referee this week.
“I can’t, as Solomon, saw football/soccer fields in half,” Mayor Irwin M. Fried said before the council voted for soccer.
Both sports groups sought to use the park Aug. 29: the soccer association for its annual kickoff tournament and the league for its opening scrimmages and picnic.
In voting for the association, the council cited soccer’s longtime use of the park and the large number of Yorba Linda residents involved in the event. The council also suggested that the football league use a Bryant Ranch Park field, which has a snack bar that the group needs to generate income.
But football representatives said the Bryant Ranch site is impractical because the snack bar will be stocked at Valley View for use during the rest of football season.
Pop Warner President Sherry Garrison said moving the equipment is so difficult that her group will now have to cancel its opening-day event and lose several thousand dollars in revenue expected from the day’s snack sales.
“We can’t move goal posts and install them,” she said. “Valley View is the only field we have ever asked for and the only field we ever use. We can’t get any more fields, because soccer gets them all.”
Garrison argued before the council that several hundred Yorba Linda youths play in the Pop Warner league and proposed a compromise in which the soccer group could use the park Friday night through Saturday morning, leaving Saturday afternoon and evening open for the football games.
But soccer tournament director Wayne Pailma said that schedule would not work. He added that Valley View has traditionally been one of the Yorba Linda sites in a 14-year-old tournament and that 1,600 Yorba Linda youngsters will participate in their competition, which has become the second-largest soccer tournament in the state.
Over two weekends beginning Aug. 29, 19,000 people are expected to visit the community, boosting local hotel and restaurant businesses, Pailma said, adding that the association expects to make $75,000 to $95,000 from the tournament.
“This money is used to keep us playing,” he said, with proceeds helping to pay for competition and traveling costs, particularly for children whose parents cannot afford the fees.