Fargo Soccer Club: Recently-Held Fargo Tournament Results in Rules Violation Charges and Misconduct Allegations
July 7, 2015, Fargo, ND. The recently-held Tri-City Soccer Tournament, hosted and administered by the Tri-City Storm (TC Storm) Soccer Club – www.tricitystorm.org - is under investigation for multiple charges of rules violations. The nature and extent of the violations are still being examined. Visiting clubs, teams and players are the potential victims of this conduct.
Tournament rules (see link below), and found on the TC Storm website, clearly indicate that players may not be dual-rostered, i.e. play for more than 1 team in the tournament, regardless of any rule regarding guest players, etc. The rule can be found on page 6 of the attached Rules under “Players and Reserves”.
In the U11 and U12 Boys brackets, players from the Grand Forks Soccer Club were allowed to play on 2 separate teams (dual roster) in violation of tournament rules. Tournament rules are approved by US Club Soccer and also fall under the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) since the tournament was sanctioned as an international tournament. Teams from Canada participated. Therefore, the rules violations could spark interest and action by the Canadian Soccer Association through the Manitoba Soccer Association. Tournament organizers, individuals at the very top of the Tri-City Storm Soccer club both knew about and participated in the alleged rules violations as evidenced in part by the “Dual Rostered Players Consent Form” (see link below).
In the U13 Girls bracket, the Fargo U13 Strikers played the TC Storm U13G Gold on Friday evening, winning 2-1. On Saturday evening, the TC Storm U13G Gold presented themselves for the game with 4 extra players from the TC Storm U13G Black team; a team playing in the U15 Girls division of the tournament. As Fargo Soccer Club coach Kelvin Daniels coaches both the Fargo U13 Strikers and the Fargo U14 Girls Menace teams and knows both TC Storm U13G Gold and Black teams, he immediately objected to the illegal use of dual-rostered players and made a formal complaint about the blatant rules violation. In an astounding turn of events, TC Storm President Jeff Olson intervened to prohibit the 4 girls from playing in the game. However, his intervention and decision was based solely on the fact that the TC Storm U13G Gold team did not have an “exemption letter” in their portfolio, allowing them to break the tournament rule, according to coach Kelvin Daniels. There is no such rule which allows an “exemption letter” or other such document to bypass the tournament rule on dual-rostering. Further, Mr. Olson allegedly stated that he knew of at least 5 such exemption letters which were issued to teams, allowing them to dual-roster in violation of tournament rules.
TC Storm Executive Director Noel Nyborg and TC Storm Tournament Director Jared Rice were involved in issuing at least one of the “exemption letters”; if not all of them. It also appears that one of the four girls from the TC Storm U13G Black team is the daughter of TC Storm Vice President Sajid Ghauri.
Fargo Soccer Club President Matt Noah stated, “This is not about an individual incident of a rogue parent or player breaking a rule. This is institutional. These are Board level individuals, an Executive Director and a Tournament Director involved in what we believe are widespread rules violations. We don’t know where it stops at this point. Was it just the dual-roster rule? Did the outcome of games get affected by the use of players who were dual-rostered? One would think so since clearly the intent was to bolster the competitiveness of teams. The U13 Girls Gold team had enough players to compete so why bring in 4 players from a better team to play against a team that beat the Gold team 2-1 the previous evening? What other exemptions were made? We don’t have all the answers yet since the Tri-City Storm Soccer Club has refused to turn over any exemption letters they issued or provide us the list of clubs or teams that were issued exemption letters.”
TC Storm President Jeff Olson and TC Storm Executive Director Noel Nyborg have not responded to requests for “exemption letters” or a list of players who played on multiple teams over the weekend.
At the end of the tournament, there was an incident involving one or more Tri-City Soccer Club representatives including a Tri-City Board Member, and Fargo Soccer Club coach and Girls Director of Coaching Kelvin Daniels. After coaching both the champion U13 Girls Strikers team and U15 Girls Menace teams, Mr. Daniels was thwarted in his attempt to simply pick up and distribute championship t-shirts to the Menace team.
Fargo Soccer Club’s preliminary investigation, including photographic evidence, discovered that the Tri-City Soccer Club representative and the Tri-City Soccer Club board member grabbed and may have assaulted Mr. Daniels. Fargo Soccer Club understands a complaint could be filed against the Tri-City representative and the board member. The private altercation occurred in a tented area that was away from and not readily visible to the main common area or soccer fields. Out of respect for Mr. Daniels and the Tri-City representatives involved, Fargo Soccer Club will wait before considering its options until the legal process is completed.
The Fargo Soccer Club has no evidence to support any action against Mr. Daniels. In fact, Mr. Daniels is one of the most respected and talented soccer coaches in the tri-state area. There has been no past history to indicate he acted in any inappropriate manner. Further, there is considerable reason to suggest he may have been intentionally provoked at the tournament when dealing with the dual-roster situation and the championship award situation. Tournament officials should have awards ready to be presented to all championship teams. This is common practice at all soccer tournaments attended by the Fargo Soccer Club.
2015 Tri-City Soccer Tournament Rules
Dual-Rostered Players Consent Form for Grand Forks