Osman Orlando is in for a long day Saturday.
The 34-year-old former soccer Olympian for Ghana will play in the midfield for the Virginia Kicks men's amateur team and will coach the McLean Redshins' women's over-30 team when both play semifinal games in the United States Soccer Federation/Lowenbrau National Challenge Cup competition at Hanson Park Stadium in Chicago.
The Virginia Kicks, the top amateur soccer team in the Washington area, won the East Region playoffs and will meet South Region winner Datagraphic of Atlanta in one semifinal at 9 a.m. The Croatia Soccer Club of Seattle, the West Region winner, will face the Midwest-champion Iraquian Soccer Club of Detroit.
The East Region champion Redshins will play the South representative Dallas Flash at 11:30 a.m. The San Andreas Faults (Calif.) will meet Soccer Dome of St. Louis in the other semifinal. The finals will be played Sunday.
"I coached another team (D.C. Dawn) in the Women's Soccer League before I went to the Redshins," Orlando said. "We haven't played many games but we're going out there to win. The men's game is first and I won't even have time to change clothes. I'll just stay on the field and hope for the best."
The Kicks, started six years ago by Coach Luis Calvo, also advanced to the cup semifinals in 1979. Calvo has spent the following three years building his team.
The Kicks defeated all of the local teams in the 32-team single-elimination playoffs, then stopped Baltimore, Philadelphia and, three weeks ago, the New York champion to earn a berth in the final four.
The Kicks are made up of former national-team players from eight countries. Only one of the 15 team members--Kurt Duendesvich--is American.
"Soccer is the international language," Calvo said. "We have no problem communicating. I only have one American, mainly because they aren't ready for this high level of competition."
All but one of the Redshins are Americans. Learning the game hasn't been a problem; finding enough qualified participants has been.
"Two years ago, we went to Miami for the playoffs and had only 10 players," said Sue Torok, who joined the team five years ago on the urging of her children. "We lost. It's difficult to get many women over 30 to play. Many have never played before. We have a better team now because we have more natural athletes."