In the chaos of this pandemic year, Rami Ladkis brought Chaos to Fort Wayne Saturday for De Marcus Beasley's Kick for a Cause soccer tournament at The Plex North.
Chaos is the name of a soccer team from Canton, Michigan -- composed of 7-, 8- and 9-year-old boys who occasionally travel outside their home turf to play similar teams.
Unfortunately, Chaos got to play in a chaotic downpour Saturday that turned the turf on which they were playing into, well, a splashball field.
And the field turned some of their uniforms into candidates for a starring role in a TV commercial for laundry detergent.
"That's the way!" shouted a parent/coach for Chaos' opponent, the Rough Riders from St. Mary's, Ohio, as one player slid through the muck chasing a ball on the way out of bounds.
But Ladkis said the trip was worth it. "It's a great charity event," he said.
The charity aims to provide soccer scholarships and raise money to build a second futsal field in Fort Wayne so more children and teens can learn soccer, said Bobby Pourasanidis, owner of The Plex North and youth soccer enthusiast.
The charity is affiliated with DaMarcus Beasley, a native of Fort Wayne who became a soccer star and has played for the United States' World Cup team. Beasley is now working on several soccer-related business ventures including a local soccer school, Poursanidis said.
Also involved in Saturday's tournament were the Fort Wayne United nonprofit soccer organization and sponsors Sweetwater Sound and ProFed Credit Union, Poursanidis said.
He said the city's futsal field is at Packard Park. Candidates for a second field include McMillen, Northside and Tillman parks, Poursanidis said.
The emphasis is on finding locations near the homes of disadvantaged kids because Beasley stresses providing scholarships to players who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to play on a team, he said.
The Packard Park court cost about $50,000, but Poursanidis said the second could probably be built for half that. He did not have a figure for how much the event raised.
About 45 teams with at least 500 players and spectators attended Saturday's free event, which also included a car show for low-rider vehicles and a hydraulics demonstration. That event attracted about 60 cars.
Ladkis, whose son Jouan, 9, plays for Chaos, said he was happy the kids could play, whatever the weather.
"it's great for kids to be able to play when they've been stuck inside for so long," he said. "It lets kids be kids."