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WSU represents United States this month at multicultural soccer tournament
Wayne State students salute a multitude of flags, but on Oct. 12-13 they’ll all cheer for Old Glory as Wayne State University once again represents the United States of America in the Sixth Annual Consular Soccer Tournament in Pontiac.
An initiative of the Mexican Consulate in Detroit, the amateur sporting event brings together soccer enthusiasts from Southeast Michigan for two days of competitive play on teams representing 16 nations: Brazil, Canada, China, France, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Macedonia, Mexico, Palestine, South Korea, Spain, Syria, Yemen, and the United States, which by tradition is the team sponsored by Wayne State University’ Office of International Programs. The tournament, which will be held at Ultimate Soccer Arenas, 867 South Blvd, Pontiac, Mich., begins with an opening ceremony at 10:25 a.m. Admission is free both days.
Jasim Sedieki, who took over this year as coach of the WSU-U.S. team, believes his players have what it takes to win first place, which last year went to Lebanon after it beat Mexico 4-1. They’ll play three 40-minute matches the first day and must place among the top eight teams to advance to the second day of play, when a loss brings instant elimination.
“They’re playing very well together – they are determined, they are communicating well and they understand what they have to do to win,” said Sedieki, who is a licensed coach with the U.S. Soccer Association and coaches the soccer team of Wayne State’s English Language Institute. “They’ve conditioned hard, and they’re ready to quickly change strategies based on the other teams’ play.”
Sedieki, an Iraqi native who has coached community teams in Fort Wayne, Ind., and Dearborn, Mich., said his team is a true reflection of the proverbial melting pot that is the United States. His players – from Afghanistan, Algeria, Brazil, England, India, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and of course the United States – are united in a common purpose.
“We only have one goal,” Sedieki said, “which is to see the U.S. flag on top when the tournament is over.”