SO Samba FC gaining steam

Tryouts for soccer academy teams Jan. 18 and 25-26

AGILITY TRAINING is part of SO Samba FC’s regi-men. Pictured is coach Thiago Samba (right) watching po-tential U18 players this week during regular training ses-sion at the Hood River Elks Lodge ath-letic facility.

Photo by Adam Lapierre.
AGILITY TRAINING is part of SO Samba FC’s regi-men. Pictured is coach Thiago Samba (right) watching po-tential U18 players this week during regular training ses-sion at the Hood River Elks Lodge ath-letic facility.

Hood River-based SO Samba FC is holding tryouts Saturday, Jan. 18, for a range of youth soccer teams the club is trying to assemble for upcoming seasons. Tryouts will run from 10 a.m. to noon for girls and 1-3 p.m. for boys at the St. Mary’s Church field (1501 Belmont Ave.), with age groups from U12 to U18.

Teams will compete in the Oregon Premier League’s spring season starting in March, with the exception of the U18 team, which will compete in a 10-game Winter 2014 season running January through early April.

“We’re not sure yet what teams we will end up with; we just want to open it up and see what kind of interest is out there,” said Melissa Brandao, SO Samba FC general manager. Led by coach Thiago Samba, the club launched in June 2013 with a semi-pro adult men’s team, which is now part of the newly formed Northwest Division of the National Premier Soccer League.

With a vision of creating an expansive academy founded around Samba’s background in Brazilian-style soccer, the club is already moving beyond its cornerstone semi-pro team to recruit some of the region’s younger talent. Tryouts this weekend are part of that effort.

“Soccer talent and skill is already naturally here in the Gorge,” Brandao said. “Our focus is to create a quality program that refines players and teaches a more sophisticated style of play. We want to help create opportunities for players to move beyond the local level; whether that’s to play with our NPSL team, for a college team or another club.”

An early example of this cultivation of opportunity is Hood River Valley High School soccer player Giovanni Magana, who was recently picked up by the Portland Timbers’ development academy after making an impression in a December game between a SO Samba U18 squad and the Timbers U16 development team.

n For players 18 and over, SO Samba is hosting tryouts Jan. 25-26 (at St. Mary’s Church field) for its 2014 NPSL season, which runs 10 regular-season games from March through June. Although several players have been locked in for the NPSL season, the club is holding the tryout to give others an opportunity to make the lineup.

Coach Samba is a Brazilian native who started his soccer career as a young man with the Junior Corinthians Academy in Sao Paulo — one of the top soccer clubs in the world. He has been playing and coaching soccer in the U.S. and Brazil for more than two decades. Brandao, recently elected NPSL Northwest Conference Commissioner, brings business and marketing savvy and overseas day-to-day operations of the club.

In addition to being accepted as a NPSL expansion team, the SO Samba was recently welcomed into the youth-focused Oregon Premier League, for which the club will field a U-18 boys team this winter and will follow with younger teams as they come together.

“We are very pleased to have SO Samba FC as part of the OPL,” said Angela Harrison, OPL director of operations. “They are an enthusiastic club and we expect to see that same enthusiasm on the field.”

For more information on the club, visit

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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