BARBOURSVILLE — Making travel arrangements for a traveling youth soccer team can be an adventure or a big headache, depending on how you look at it.
Just ask Michael Goodman, of Syracuse, New York.
Goodman had the daunting task of helping to reserve rooms for 13 kids playing in the U.S. Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships at the Barboursville Soccer Complex this weekend. Goodman’s son, Tyler, is on the U15 Invictus Football Club, from Syracuse, which is one of approximately 260 teams from 15 state associations participating in the tournament that runs through July 3.
“We had some problems because we were not able to start looking until the weekend of June 1 due to our state’s cup play not ending as soon as those in southern states,” Goodman said.
Goodman said a block of rooms was booked for June 28 through July 3 at the Hampton Inn in Barboursville, but on June 27 he said they had to stay in a hotel in Charleston for one night.
“I thought June 27 was a travel day, but I didn’t think of having a room that night,” he said. “It has been pretty hectic, to say the least. It can be a headache sometimes traveling, but we all try to stay positive and make it an adventure instead.”
Jordan Rader, assistant general manager with Hampton Inn in Barboursville, said the 90-room hotel started booking rooms for the youth soccer tournament in April.
“We are still getting some walk-in traffic asking for a room, but we are booked solid through July 3,” he said. “The reality is that within a two-hour circle of Barboursville there are no rooms available. Everyone appears to be sold-out.”
Just across the street at the Delta by Marriott at the Huntington Mall, phones have been ringing off the hook from people in search of accommodations.
“The soccer people reserved their rooms in advance, but it’s the everyday traveler that is calling us looking for a room, and we have to tell them we don’t have any,” said Morgan Collins, a front desk clerk at the hotel. “They don’t know about this soccer tournament, and when we tell them, they are pretty upset.”
Olivia Kamarc, 15, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is on the Beadling Soccer Club team and said traveling to West Virginia wasn’t bad since she slept most of the way.
“The thing that got me the most was the heat,” she said. “It’s been so hot here in West Virginia.”
Her teammates, Gracie Stetson and Carson Bogan, said they have enjoyed their time in the state despite the 90-degree temperatures.
“We went to Logan’s Roadhouse, and it was great,” Stetson said.
“Hopefully we will be moving on in the tournament and will get to play at the other complex near Charleston,” Bogan said.
Action in the 2019 U.S. Youth Soccer Eastern Regional Championships continued Saturday with pool play at Barboursville Soccer Complex and Shawnee Sports Complex in Dunbar. The tournament features top boys and girls teams in the 12U through 19U age groups.