Once again we at Hmoodle are featuring one of the top teams in Hmong sports. This month we are featuring the California team the Oroville North Stars, whom are the winners of the Hmong International New Year men’s soccer tournament. A team made of family and close friends came together to beat the best of the best and brought home the championship for the state of California. We recently talked with the team to let you, our readers, get to know them a little better.
Hmoodle: First off I want to congratulate you and your team on winning first place at the Hmong International New Year and thank you for taking the time to do this interview with us.
North Star:Thank you for having us on your website and introducing us to your followers.
Hmoodle: Please introduce yourself, your teammates and their positions to the world.
Top left to right: Koua Yang – Def. Dao Yang – Def. Tou Lor Vang – Forward. Mong Vue – Def. Tong Lee – Def. Tou Xiong Lor – Def. Kou Yang Def/Mid. Keng Vang – Mid. Bottom left to right: Nako Xiong – Forward. Xou Lee – Capt./Forward. Na Lee – Goalie/Mid. Gary Vang – Mid. Houa Xiong – Mid.
Hmoodle:How did the team North Star get their start?
North Star:The team was formed and started in 1994 by our uncles, cousins and brothers. After they all retired we decided to continue on and keep the name. We consist only of relatives and very close friends.
Hmoodle:How often does the North Star team practice to keep up their skills and confidence?
North Star:Because of the California weather we meet up on most weekends and have pickup games. When tournaments come near then we’ll train as a team and prep for it.
Hmoodle:North Star is now considered the best team from California; do you guys plan on taking the trip to Minnesota to compete in the J4th tournament and showing what California Soccer is all about?
North Star:It is wonderful to know that our team North Stars is considered the best in California, but we still believe California hold other strong teams also. We as a team played real well and that is how we came to win and take first for this tournament. We came up to J4 in 2009 and got to the third round but were knocked out by the two time champs Typhoon. This year we are planning to come up there and compete with teams all around the U.S.
Hmoodle:Going into the final game against Tornado; what did your team do to prepare physically and mentally to win this game?
North Star: We’ve played Tornadoes before and we knew they were a tough opponent. Our mindset was to focus and play hard and let the game come to us. They are a very physical team, but we knew we had a few advantages which were our speed and endurance and we used that to defeat them.
Hmoodle: Is there anything you guys learned as a team after winning this Championship?
North Star: We learned that to beat a very good team you have to play hard and play as a team. Individual play will not take you anywhere. Hard work, commitment, and dedication are the key.
Hmoodle: I hope you guys go on to winning more tournaments. Do you have any last words for our readers?
North Star: We’ll see you all in July 4th, 2013.
We look forward to seeing the team come to Minnesota and see if they can continue their dominance in men’s soccer. It’s just over four months away