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Area soccer star goes international

For the second time in her young career, Tiarra Ivazes is about to display her soccer skills on an international stage.

The 17-year-old, soon-to-be Bear River senior, was selected to join the world’s best amateur soccer players in the three-week Gothia-Dana European tour beginning July 6.

More than 1,500 teams, from more than 60 countries, have entered this year’s Gothia Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Cup hosts both boys and girls teams up to the Under-19 division.



Ivazes is joining the United Soccer Academy International, out of Delray Beach, Florida, to represent the U.S., along with nearly 120 others players on various junior teams.

Following the Gothia Cup it’s on to the Dana Cup in Hjorring, Denmark, featuring 800 teams from 42 nations.




Prior to the two cups, the USAI teams will assemble at Stowe Boarding School in Buckingham, England to train for four days and compete in social matches against local clubs.

For Ivazes, the highlight of the three weeks is expected to be the highly-prestigious Gothia Cup. Ivazes said she was shocked Chris Malenab, coach of her U-19 Sacramento-based Capital Valley Premier team, had even considered nominating her.

After Malenab’s recommendation, a tryout session was held for Northern California players eligible for the trip, and from the several players auditioning only four were selected, including Ivazes.

Although she is thrilled to be a part of the tour, her goals are still competitively-minded.

“I’m happy to be going at this point,” she said, “but I would love to win.”

In the summer of 2001 Ivazes competed in New Zealand and Australia as part of the People-to-People program, which offers young athletes – in several sports – the opportunity to play internationally.

For Ivazes, she said she hopes the two tournaments will be just two more reasons for college recruiters to line up at her doorstep next year.


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