It was about nine years ago that Werner Christen got a call from Germany.
A representative from the Niedersachsischer Fussballverband E.V. soccer club wanted to know if Carson Valley would be able to play host to their 18-year-old youth exchange program.
"I don't even know how they got my number," Christen said. "I was involved with AYSO and someone gave them my name and they just wanted to know if we could scrape together a team of local athletes to play a couple games."
The club will be making its third trip to Minden next week, when it will take on a skeleton crew of the Douglas High boys' soccer team Monday at 7 p.m. and Thursday at 7 p.m. at Douglas High School.
"It'll be mostly kids coming back for their senior year and maybe a couple guys from last year's state runner-up team," Douglas soccer coach Milko Vasquez said. "They usually bring a talented team from Germany, but we had a pretty good team last year too, so hopefully we'll give them a good game.
"That's all you can ask for."
Admission is free for both games.
Minden will be the third stop on the German club's tour, following Redlands, Calif., and Yosemite. The club will head to San Bruno, Calif. after spending a week touring Carson Valley and the outlying area.
"Their itenerary hasn't really changed much over the years," Christen said. "They go up to the Lake and to Virginia City. The community has always stepped up and supported this every time they've come.
"The players and coaches stay with host families here. It's a neat deal."
Next week's games will serve as the unofficial kickoff to the Douglas boys' soccer preseason training.
"It's the middle of summer, so we'll see who shows up next week," Vasquez said. "We'll begin the following week with conditioning, then do an intensive training camp Aug. 11 through 14 and head into tryouts directly after that.
"We'll have our work cut out for us this year. Every team in our league is going to be very good, very competitive."
Douglas' conditioning sessions start July 28 and run Mondays and Wednesdays at 7 p.m. at the high school.
For more information, contact coach Milko Vasquez at email@example.com or 782-5136, ext. 1407.