Maryland SoccerPlex set to host US Youth Soccer National Champions
BOYDS, Md. (July 21, 2014) – The Maryland SoccerPlex is playing host this week to the 2014 US Youth Soccer National Championships, the top event in all of youth soccer, running from July 22-26.
About 1,700 players from 96 of the best youth teams in the nation will spend five days in Montgomery County, playing on the Kentucky Bluegrass and Bermuda grass fields at the SoccerPlex as teams from seven girls and seven boys divisions vie for national titles.
“We are very excited that US Youth Soccer is bringing its National Championships to our facility and to the county,” said Trish Heffelfinger, Executive Director of the Maryland Soccer Foundation, which owns and operates the SoccerPlex and Discovery Sports Center. “Our top level fields all at the same location are ideal for catering to a championship environment, and we are looking forward to some great competition.”
The Maryland SoccerPlex is hosting the US Youth Soccer National Championships for the third time, having also done so in 2002 and 2003. A study by the Conference and Visitors Bureau of Montgomery County projected that the tournament will generate $4-5 million in economic impact for local businesses, and about 8,000 hotel room nights.
Teams qualified for the National Championships by emerging from rigorous competition in the four Regional Championships, which were held in June and early July. Region I features teams from the Northeast, Region II is Midwest, Region III is Southern and Region IV encompasses the Far West.
The National Championships hold competitions for both the boys and girls in Under 13 to Under 19 age groups. The U9 and U19 age groups have just four teams, one from each region, who qualify. All other divisions have eight teams from various parts of the country competing for the national title.
Several local teams will be competing at Nationals out of Region I, including Loudoun 98 Red (Va.) in the Girls U15 division, Maryland Rush in the girls U16 division, VSA Heat 96 Blue (Va.) in the girls U17 division, BRYC 95 Elite (Va.) in the girls U18 division, and VSA Heat Blue in the girls U19 division.
On the boys side, the qualifiers from the greater Baltimore-Washington region are: Baltimore Celtic Dynasty U13, Arlington Eagles Red (Va.) U14, Loudoun 98 Red U15 and Baltimore Celtic U16.
Local soccer fans and media are encouraged to attend the US Youth Soccer National Championships. Media workspace will be available inside the Discovery Sports Center, which overlooks the Maryland SoccerPlex’s 5,000 capacity stadium, Maureen Hendricks Field.
The stadium is the permanent home of the professional women’s soccer team the Washington Spirit, and annually hosts major events including various D.C. United games, NCAA conference championships and regular season matches, and a wide range of youth tournaments and other sports.
Preliminary: July 22-24
Off Day: July 25
U14-U18 Semifinals: July 26
U13 and U19 National Championships: July 26
U14-U18 National Championships: July 27