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Successful Alliance

Tennessee's FC Alliance Runs Some of the Top Youth Soccer Tournaments in the South East Central United States.

A non-profit organization, Tennessee’s FC Alliance is the product of the merger of Smokey Mountain Soccer Association and Impact United Soccer Association in 2008 and the influx of coaches and directors of Knoxville Crush in 2010. The unification of the community’s soccer resources included experience with operating tournaments that stretches back to the 1990s.

Today, the club serves 1,500 youth players and serves eastern Tennessee. It runs five premier tournaments each year. This includes the Girls Southeast College Showcase in January, the Boys Southeast College Showcase in February, the Alliance Premier Cup in April, the Alliance Fall Classic in September and the Southeast Academy Classic in November.

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Each tournament has a slightly different format. The college showcases are held over two days for U15-U18 teams. FC Alliance doesn’t try to create massive college showcases. Instead, they are held at Shumpert Park and Rifle Range Park, two facilities with six total fields all within walking distance of each other.

“We bring in approximately 60 teams and 60 college coaches,” Tournament Director Jon Schneider says. “If you come here, you will get seen.”

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FC Alliance’s geographic location helps attract college coaches to showcases, as the tournament is located in the middle of a lot of colleges. These tournaments have brought in coaches from some bigger name schools to watch top teams, but they attract a good deal of lower DI, DII, DIII and NAIA schools as well.

“The coaches like that they can show up and access six fields full of players,” Schneider says. “They don’t have to drive all over town, and they can see a lot of players who may not be the five-star prospect but will help their program. We’ve made our niche out of helping everyone get seen, not just those on top teams.”

The Alliance Premier Cup and Alliance Fall Classic are the large events, each bringing in around 150 to 160 teams annually. The Premier Cup is for U9-U14 boys teams and U9-U19 girls teams, while the fall classic is for U9-U19 boys and U9-U14 girls.

The Southeast Academy Classic is for U9-U12 boys and girls and is structured as a fun filled event with shirts for all participants and two-foot tall trophies for division first and second place teams. Each team is guaranteed a minimum of four games in a competitively appropriate division and a three-referee officiating system.

FC Alliance takes every aspect of its tournaments to heart. The club uses Shumpert Park for these events, as well as other area facilities. The club tries to use top quality, Bermuda grass fields for all its tournaments. With officials, Southeast Academy Classic can be a training ground for grooming younger refs, but the other tournaments have funding to bring in multiple assignors as well as refs from all over the region.

Historically, FC Alliance has drawn teams to its tournaments from as far away as Canada and Michigan. The majority of its teams come from Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and Ohio.

FC Alliance has the benefit of experience – as well as its partnership with Soccer In College – to ensure that tournaments proceed as smoothly as possible. The club is committed to securing the best facilities and keeping its name in front of customers to be sure that every FC Alliance tournament is viewed as a must for many teams.

“We’re always looking for anything that will give players and teams a great experience,” Schneider says. “We’d like to see all our tournaments bump up in numbers a bit, we are working to get our name out, continue to learn and provide a positive tournament atmosphere.”

For more information about FC Alliance tournaments, click here.

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