TAMPA, Fla. - This past month, the United Soccer Leagues partnered with the Tampa Bay Sports Commission to hold its annual SoccerFest in the Tampa area. The 2005 USL SoccerFest consists of two elements, the USL Annual General Meeting, which was held October 28-31, and the Super Y-League North American Finals held November 18-22.
“The inaugural 2005 USL SoccerFest was an unqualified success,” commented USL Vice President Tim Holt. “In addition to the enormous amount of positive feedback we received from many of the over 5,000 participants in attendance at the Super Y-League North American Finals regarding the organization of the event and quality of the fields, we were excited to see prominent members of the Tampa Bay soccer community enjoying our festivities, such as the nationally televised Showcase Game and interactive Player’s Village. With the continued support of our partners at the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, we fully expect the USL SoccerFest to grow in terms of its importance to the Tampa Bay area and the American soccer calendar in 2006.”
The Annual General Meeting, USL’s annual gathering of team executives and soccer dignitaries for operations and strategic planning meetings, returned to Tampa for the first time since 1997 after being held in Clearwater the past seven years. Every year, over 300 team owners, executives and other leaders in the soccer community meet at the USL AGM to discuss important soccer issues. This three-day conference featured representatives from each of USL’s senior teams as well as other soccer dignitaries.
The second element of the SoccerFest is USL’s biggest event, the Super Y-League North American Finals which came to Tampa for the first time November 18-22. Founded in 1999, the league’s championship event has been to Raleigh, NC, Rockford, IL, Orlando, FL, Philadelphia, PA, Cleveland, OH and Atlanta, GA.
The SYL North American Finals, regarded as the top youth soccer event in North America, was a five-day tournament that included 128 of the best youth soccer teams in the US and Canada from U13 to U17 for boys and girls. Teams qualified from their respective regions and faced the best from around North America in a quest to become one of 10 league champions. The finals featured teams from locations ranging from Vancouver to Miami representing some of the top professional clubs in the nation such as Major League Soccer’s DC United and MetroStars. The Super Y-League North American Finals also featured a showcase game that will be broadcast December 3 on Fox Soccer Channel at 8:00 pm ET.
Co-hosted by Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation, and Conservation and Hillsborough County United, matches were played at the Ed Radice soccer complex and the University of South Florida.