Nike Friendlies Dates Set

CHICAGO – U.S. Soccer recently announced the dates for the seventh annual Nike Friendlies and the second annual Women’s Nike Friendlies. The 2007 Nike Friendlies will be played Dec. 6-9 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla while the Women’s Friendlies will take place Sept. 20-23 at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.

Participants and schedules have not yet been finalized.

U.S. Soccer’s Nike Friendlies is an annual competition in which the best U16-U18 youth soccer clubs around the United States are invited to the IMG Academy for a four-day, three-game event. Standings are not kept during the competition, which stresses quality soccer and player development over wins and losses.

Last year was the first year for the Women’s Nike Friendlies, which boasted 28 of the country’s top women’s clubs in the U16-U18 range. The 2007 event will have girls’ and women’s clubs in the U-15, U-16 and U-17 age groups, with the U.S. U-15 and U-16 Girls’ National Teams participating.

The invitation-only Nike Friendlies, which began with 19 teams, has quickly become a top end-of-the-year destination for elite Nike clubs. The event has also become highly anticipated by college coaches because of the top-level competition.

During the tournament, parents, fans and participants can follow the action at the Nike Friendlies at ussoccer.com, which provides comprehensive coverage of the event including mini-match reports from every game played, photos and video.

U.S. Soccer will also be conducting a Referee Academy and Coaching Symposium in conjunction with the Men’s and Women’s Nike Friendlies, with details being finalized in the coming months.

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