The Caspian Soccer Club is in its final days of practice before heading to Gothenberg, Sweden, to participate in the prestigious Gothia Cup.
Coach Mahmood Ebrahimzadeh, a former professional player with World Cup and Olympic experience, is taking over three teams -- boys and girls 18-under and 13-under boys -- to represent Carroll and Frederick counties. The club will be leaving for Europe on Saturday with Gothia Cup play beginning on Monday.
Ebrahimzadeh said 600 to 700 teams and about 20,000 young soccer players from all over the world will be competing.
"It's the biggest youth tournament in the world," he said. "It's a great chance for our kids to get a lot of experience and see how they play the game in Europe."
The three Caspian teams have been practicing for the past few months in anticipation of the tournament.
"The kids have been working very hard and I think we'll be able to compete over there. They know it's getting close and are very excited -- they're counting the days," Ebrahimzadeh said.
In all, the group of 60 including players, family, friends and coaches will be abroad for 10 days. Plenty of sightseeing is on the group's agenda, with various tours and visits planned.
"We'll try to get in as much stuff as possible. We're first going to stop and tour London and we've set up some time to see some museums in Gothenberg and also are hoping to get over to Denmark. But we're mostly going over for the soccer experience," Ebrahimzadeh said.