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Hastings youth soccer team plays in Schwan's USA Cup

One of HFC United's U12 girls soccer teams is playing this week in the Schwan's USA Cup in Blaine. The event is an international youth soccer tournament open to any teams who want to participate.

It's not HFC United's first year at the tournament, nor is it a first for all 14 girls who are going this year.

"As the team rosters change from year to year there are some players that are returning for another USA Cup and others that will experience it for the first time," said U12 coach Daniel Marier.

Although there are teams from other countries, including Japan, Columbia, Brazil, Mexico, Thailand and more, Hastings won't be playing any of them this year. They will play national teams.

The goal isn't necessarily to win the tournament, but to take in the experience of a World Cup-style event.

"We take teams to this event based on the experience they will have and not with a sole focus on being the champion," Marier said.

Still, he expects his team to face some good competition. How the Hastings girls do can vary from game to game.

"In youth sports it's all about who shows up to play," Marier said. "Is it the team we've trained for three months and can play exceptional soccer as a team or is it the youth players that play as individuals? ... If the team shows up we can do well, and if they don't they'll have to work much harder to win."

For more about the Schwan's USA Cup, go to