Early this summer in June 2017, Howell United, a team in the A Division of the Garden State Soccer League (GSSL), traveled to Costa Rica to play three friendly matches against Costa Rican professional and semi-professional teams, participate in community service opportunities and explore Costa Rica. Over three games, Howell United were beaten by Desamparados FC (San Jose), defeated San Rafael Abajo (San Jose) and lost to the Jaco Rays, a well-known second division club in Costa Rica.
“This trip started as a crazy idea about two years ago, when we were still just a summer league team and 90% of our team were still in college. We wanted to test ourselves on the field against high quality opposition, show our team a different culture and lifestyle, and help the less fortunate. From a soccer standpoint, I think it will definitely benefit our program moving forward, the experience is vital especially considering how young our team remains to this day.” – Captain, Billy Montague
“It was a great experience for the guys. Yeah, of course playing against professionals in stadiums was cool, but I think it was really eye opening for the team to undergo a little bit of culture shock and to live simply for a week. I really enjoyed our scrimmage against Rostros De Jesus – a local drug and rehab center for men in the city of Alajuela. We played them on a neighborhood field, and then traveled back to their facilities, ate lunch and hung out with the guys for a couple of hours. We also visited a volcano, went to the Costa Rican National Rainforest Park Manuel and hung out with the monkeys. These memories, on and off the field, I will take with me forever.” – General Manager and Player, Mark Ferrante
“I had the time of my life. As one of the older players on the team, I can definitely say it was a great bonding experience for the guys, I would do anything for my teammates and I am so glad we were fortunate enough to head down to Costa Rica. Quick special thanks to the GSSL, our staff with our team, the Howell United Board and Josh Erickson of Beyond Sports for making this trip possible. I hope we do something similar this year. Italy?” – Defender, Sean McNamara
Howell United resumes play in the Garden State Soccer League’s A Division this September.
For information on tryouts or general information please contact: BillMont11@gmail.com or HowellUnitedScouting@gmail.com.
story written by Monchi Tammaro