BOISE, Idaho — The Far West Regional youth soccer tournament features seven divisions of both boys and girls, 190 teams, and on Sunday, two Boise teams competed in the finals.
Boise hosted teams from 14 different states in the west.
Officials say the tournament brings in roughly 10,000 people and generates between eight to ten million dollars for the local economy.
"The excitement that it generates is just incredible. Just go and talk to any of the local restaurants or hotels or any of the local businesses received a huge bump, and after what we faced in the last month, is fantastic," said Craig Warner of Idaho Youth Soccer. "The crowd we just had, I would guess some of them don't even have kids in soccer, yet they just came out to support the local team."
In the U-14 boy's final, the Boise Timbers faced off against the Los Angeles Total Football Academy as the boys from Boise attempted to become the first boy's team to ever win this tournament.
The Timbers struck first on a nifty goal by Grayson Clark, but LA would respond with two goals to take a 2-1 lead going into halftime.
In the second half, the Timbers tied it up, but three straight goals from LA was too much to overcome.
LA defeated Boise 5-3, but the Timbers still had a great run in the tournament.
“For these guys to go through a full regional slate like they did winning every game group game, quarterfinal, and semifinals against some powerful states is a statement in of itself," said Coach Eric Simmonsen. "Plus, it’s their first regional. They didn’t get one last year as U-13. They didn’t get a state cup so pretty impressive.”
The tournament also showcased the soccer talent here in the Treasure Valley as the U-19/20 Boise Thorns girls team and the U-18 Boise Timbers made it to the semifinals before they lost.
“Because you have 14 states' best teams here, you get a lot of college coaches from the various divisions and they can watch these teams," said Warner. "They can be identified right here in their local town without having to travel halfway across the country."
Even though the loss for the U-14 Boys hurt Coach Simmonsen thinks this group has a good chance to become the first boy's team to ever win the regional, but he also has a feeling to do so they might have to face off with the club from LA in the years to come.
"They got 5 or 6 more opportunities to win the first-ever boys side regional championship I think it is a testament to them and what they faced during these times," said Simmonsen. "I think it is a good message for people overall that uncommon times create some pretty rare things and sometimes it’s ok to be rare.”
The Boise Thorns U-16 girls were defeated by Utah's La Roca 2-1 in the championship game as this team almost became the second girl's team to win this tournament.