Camp Darby helps Pisa team climb to top of soccer league
October 17, 2007
It must be the water.
Or maybe the grass.
The city of Pisa’s soccer club has been using fields at Camp Darby for practice several times a week during the past two months.
And though it might be coincidence, the club has won its last five contests — including a 3-2 win over Albinoleffe on Sunday — to climb atop the standings of Italy’s Serie B.
Marco Scartelloni, the club’s general manager, said in a phone interview last week that the arrangement has been “very good” for the club, citing “the tranquility, efficiency and quality of the field and equipment.”
He said while the club’s agreement with the base expires on Oct. 31, he would like to see the team continue to practice on Darby, which is halfway between Pisa and Livorno.
The club plays host to games in the Garibaldi arena in Pisa but has a separate field it uses for practice.
Since that field is undergoing renovation, the team needed another place to hold practice.
The base was happy to oblige, according to its American and Italian commanders.
“We are committed to building positive relationships with the communities surrounding our base,” said Lt. Col. Steven Cade, U.S. Army Garrison Livorno commander, in a news release.
“This is a wonderful chance to help out.”
Col. Raffaele Iubini, the Italian base commander, noted that a team composed of base personnel will take on the Pisa team as well as a squad from city hall in a tournament later this fall.
“This not only helps strengthen relations, but it really motivates the civilians and military to stay in shape and practice for the upcoming exhibition game,” he said.
Pisa’s team, which has a 7-0-2 record on the season, would move up to Italy’s top league, Serie A, if it is among the top finishers in Serie B at the end of the season.
Reversely, the bottom teams of Serie A get relegated to Serie B.
The team currently at the bottom of the Serie A standings?
Livorno, which fired its coach last week and hasn’t won this season.
Valentina Lehman provided translation for this story.