Dazzling displays

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:04 AM ET

In every pickup game, be it hockey, basketball or soccer, there's a ringer -- someone who comes out and just dominates.

Yesterday, it was Liverpool's Mark Walters in the Legends of Soccer event at the Saddledome.

The fleet-footed Walters scored three Liverpool goals in a 4-1 triumph over Manchester United in the final and wound up with a total of 10 markers through the tournament.

With the win, the Liverpool side remains undefeated against United in the six-year history of Masters Football.

"I can't take all of the credit, a lot of them were tap-ins," said Walters, 44, who retired from pro soccer in 2002 and played in 115 games for Liverpool in the Premier League.

Liverpool manager/player Phil Neal said every Masters team needs a player like Walters.

"He's within the rules, over 35 and you have to have that (type of player) for the excitement," said Neal, adding United's Lee Sharpe, who scored nine in the tournament, is in the same mould and still has plenty of speed and skill.

The spry Walters looked like he could suit up for the pro club and go head-to-head with United's Premiership team as he put on a clinic with a dazzling display of moves.

After Sharpe opened the scoring midway through the first half, Walters headed in a rebound with 47.5 seconds left and tied it up.

Then in the second half, he got the game-winner with 1:57 left and followed that up a minute later with his hat-trick goal. John Durnin, with 17 seconds remaining, got the fourth for the Reds as United's losing streak continued.

"We are winners and to manage the players is really exciting because you're on edge most of the time and when the referee blows the whistle, we're all so, so competitive. It's a powerful animal that never leaves you," said Neal, who won several major titles with Liverpool during the 1970s and '80s.

"Even here in Calgary, we want to win and it's so meaningful because we've got a lot of pride and wherever we go in the world, we like to give a full account of ourselves."

The Canadian Soccer Association is expected today to start fining or suspending some Canadian players, who are registered and took part in the Legends event.

However many of those suiting up are not CSA members.

CSA officials wanted to sanction the tournaments in Calgary and Toronto.


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