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Up to 30 women soccer players from around the U.S. and Mexico will join head coach Manny Arias and his staff Saturday, March 29, at the Verde Valley School for the first practice of the Sedona FC Strikers.

Head Coach Manny Arias, top row, left, and 23 female soccer players from around the U.S. and Mexico finished tryouts for the Sedona FC Strikers on Saturday, March 15, with Arias and his staff at Verde Valley High School in the Village of Oak Creek. Sedona's inaugural game will be Friday, May 16, against the Los Angeles Blues at Sedona Red Rock High School.

They have been busy the past four weekends — and will continue to be for the next four. Tryouts for the women’s semiprofessional soccer team were held at the Verde Valley School the first three Saturdays of the month. The Saturday before, Feb. 22, 40 prospective Strikers were in Phoenix playing a friendly against Grand Canyon University.

Signups have now begun and, following a team dinner at 5 p.m. at a local bar and grill March 29, practices will begin in earnest from 9 a.m. to noon every Sunday and from 9 to 11 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. every Saturday right up to the Strikers’ inaugural game, a 7 p.m. matchup Friday, May 16, with the Los Angeles Blues at Sedona Red Rock High School.

In between, Arias has scheduled a full promotional campaign with posters, flyers and on social media, as well as appearances for some of his players at SRRHS, West Sedona School and Big Park Community School as well as a friendly Sunday, April 6, at 5 p.m. at Northern Arizona University.

“After our first game May 16, everybody will be here,” Arias said. “Then we’ll practice Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.”

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, March 19, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.

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