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USL SoccerFest Set for November

Event Featuers Super-Y Finals and Five-A-Side Frenzy Tournament

May 20, 2009

TAMPA, FL – United Soccer Leagues announced the 2009 USL SoccerFest will be held Nov.19-24 in Tampa, the home of the organization’s headquarters, in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Sports Commission.

The USL SoccerFest, launched in the fall of 2005, is comprised of the USL Annual General Meeting, the Super Y-League’s 11th Annual North American Finals, and the Five-A-Side Frenzy.

This year’s event is expected to draw 10,000-plus participants, family members, and spectators from across the US and Canada for the events. Visitors are anticipated to occupy more than 8,000 hotel room nights, utilize over 800 rental cars and vans, account for over 4,000 flights, and consume over 75,000 meals.

The 2008 event was a tremendous success. The Five-A-Side Frenzy featured teams with players of all ages and skill levels, most of which came from the greater Tampa Bay area. The 2009 Five-A-Side Frenzy is slated for November 21-22. USL also hosted a coaching symposium in 2008 allowing local coaches the opportunity to further educate themselves about best practices to use when developing their youth players. Both the Frenzy and the coaching symposium will be an important part of the 2009 SoccerFest.

New in 2008 was a special exhibition series with three teams, including two Tampa sides, from the United States Power Soccer Association’s competitive Division 1 at the Ed Radice Sports Complex. Power Soccer is the first competitive team sport designed and developed specifically for power wheelchair users. The exhibitions were held in the USL SoccerFest’s Street Soccer field at the Players’ Village between the Tampa Bay Thunder, Tampa Crossfire and Atlanta Synergy.

“Every year we strive to improve the event experience for participants, families, and our partners,” said USL Senior Director of Commercial Development James Ward. “Given the current economic climate, this year we're focused on doing as much as possible to provide inexpensive ways for people to enjoy the SoccerFest while participating in a variety of activities. Many initiatives, such as the Players' Village – an interactive area with games and contests – will contain components that are free of charge and open to the public.”

The Super Y-League North American Finals begin Friday, Nov. 20 and concludes Tuesday, Nov. 24. The SYL finals are considered one of the top youth soccer events in North America.

“SoccerFest 2009 marks the conclusion of what has already been a spectacular year for United Soccer Leagues through what has only been a few months so far,” said USL President and Founder Francisco Marcos. “Our professional clubs reached new heights last year, exemplified by the offseason success in the CONCACAF Champions League by Montreal and Puerto Rico, who reached the quarterfinal and semifinal stages, respectively, with victories over top flight Mexican clubs. It was a prime example of why individuals such as executives from Mexican club Pachuca as well as others from clubs in Europe attended our AGM last year.”

The USL SoccerFest is an annual event in Tampa with a multi-year partnership between USL and the TBSC that makes Tampa the home of the USL SoccerFest through 2010.

“We could not feel more privileged to continue to host United Soccer Leagues' SoccerFest in the Tampa Bay community," said Tampa Bay Sports Commission Executive Director Rob Higgins. "We truly value our dynamic partnership with USL and look forward to working collaboratively with them on this premier event over the next two years.”

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