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USA Cup Runs Strong
Largest International Tournament in Western Hemisphere Continues to Draw
July 23, 2009
By Nick Williams
When it comes to tournaments, it doesnt get much bigger than the Schwans USA Cup, which is currently underway this week.
Now in its 25th year, the USA Cup has cemented its legacy as the largest international youth soccer tournament in the Western Hemisphere, with over 1,000 teams coming to the Minneapolis, Minnesota area each July.
How do they do it? Well, it starts with the atmosphere.
We focus extra on making it a fun atmosphere and welcoming environment, said Teri Vogt, Director of the National Sports Center, which puts on the US Cup. We make our tournament a stress free oasis for families to have a good time.
The 2-week event kicked off last weekend with the Schwans USA Cup Weekend, the warm-up tournament prior to the USA Cup. The tournament ran from July 17-19 and results for the event can be found here.
A dramatic Olympic style opening ceremony kicked off the main tournament this Tuesday, July 21. Games will be played over the course of the next few days culminating with championships games on Saturday afternoon.
The event takes place at the National Sports Center, which houses over 40 full-sized grass fields, which see plenty of action over the week. With all those teams plus the family members traveling with them Vogt said its extra important to make sure everyone feels welcome.
Little things like how [guest] are treated by volunteers at team check in or at the field marshal tent can set the tone for a positive environment, she said.
In addition to the games, the USA Cup provides a slew of other events during the week, including dances, a VIP/Coaches bash, a wave pool, golf, ice skating, access to a Twins game, a fire truck photo op, a PUMA lounge and the Schwan Zone which features interactive soccer activities and games.
Weve come up with small revenue generating ideas for on-site, like soccer challenges for prizes, Vogt said. We try to offset a familys desire to go off site.
The USA Cup will conclude this Saturday, July 25. Please click here for results as the week goes on. If youd like more information on the event in general, see their website at www.usacup.org.
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