TAMPA, Fla. - United Soccer Leagues announced today that the 2011 Super Y-League North American Finals presented by Umbro – one of the top college recruiting events in the country – has been set for December 2-6 in Tampa, Florida.
The revitalized showcase event features more than 130 boys and girls teams and nearly 2,500 players from throughout the U.S. and Canada competing for the right to be called North American champions. It has been moved later on the calendar to allow for increased attendance among college, national team and international club scouts due to fewer conflicts with other tournaments.
“I’ve had the opportunity to attend the USL Super Y-League North American Finals and I was impressed by the overall level of play and the quality of players participating,” U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team Assistant Coach Erik Imler said. “The Super Y-League is a great opportunity for elite-level players looking to develop their game, and the North American Finals provides a great platform for players to be identified by college coaches or national team programs.”
In its 13th consecutive year, the SYL North American Finals has helped launched the careers of many notable U.S. soccer stars such as Jozy Altidore and 2010 Gatorade National High School Player of the Year Mollie Pathman. More than 100 men’s and women’s college soccer coaches, as well as U.S. Soccer National Team scouts, attended the 2010 SYL North American Finals in Tampa, with the later date expected to increase those numbers for 2011. Participants also have the opportunity to be identified for the SYL ODP National Camps, which take place under the direction of USL National Technical Director Peter Mellor.
“From an identification standpoint, the Super Y-League North American Finals is a special opportunity for elite-level players,” Mellor said. “Not only will participants have the opportunity to be selected for the SYL National ODP Camps, they will be seen by top college coaches, US National Team staff and international club coaches that will be on site thanks to the high level of play the Super Y-League offers.”
USL has added respected soccer executive Farrukh Quarishi as a special consultant for the Finals. Quarishi, who established and oversaw the highly successful Sun Bowl international youth tournament for many years and served as the Venue Executive Director for World Cup USA 1994 in Orlando, will work with USL to ensure the 2011 event reaches new levels in both quality and competitiveness.
The SYL North American Finals are presented by league partner Umbro in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, Tampa Bay & Company, the Hillsborough County Tourist Development Council, and the Pasco County Office of Tourism. Tampa’s Ed Radice Soccer Complex and the Land O’ Lakes Recreation Center in Pasco County will serve as the venues for all the action at the Finals.
“We’re excited about once again working with USL to help produce one of the top youth soccer events in North America,” Tampa Bay Sports Commission Executive Director Rob Higgins said. “The Tampa Bay Sports Commission continues to work closely with local officials to ensure the quality of the fields at the 2011 Super Y-League North American Finals befits the high quality of the competition.”
Teams in the U12 to U17 age groups will qualify from their respective regions (Mid Atlantic, Midwest, New England, Northwest, South Atlantic and Southeast) and compete for national titles. The allocation of finals berths by division for the boys and girls will be released during the next week.
The SYL North American Finals presented by Umbro are expected to draw more than 10,000 participants, family members, and spectators, and will feature an updated interactive Player’s Village where players and fans can relax, check out what is new in the soccer world and enjoy entertainment from USL partners and vendors. USL Breakaway Magazine, the feature show highlighting the teams and personalities throughout United Soccer Leagues, will be on site to produce a 30-minute show for FOX Soccer Channel focused on the SYL North American Finals.
Founded in 1999, the Super Y-League is a professionalized system serving as one of the first steps in developing elite youth soccer players in North America. Affiliated with U.S. Soccer, the league is designed for talented youth players striving for professional careers. The most talented boys and girls participating in the Super Y-League are chosen for the SYL Olympic Development Program Camps, from which the top players are often selected for National Team programs.
Participating clubs represent the youth academies of some of the top professional clubs in North America, including Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire and Columbus Crew. USL PRO clubs also field Super Y-League teams, including the Richmond Kickers and Harrisburg City Islanders.
Tampa Bay Sports Commission
The Tampa Bay Sports Commission is a private, non-profit, 501c3, charitable corporation that serves the entire Tampa Bay area as the lead organization for bidding on and hosting major amateur sporting events. Our mission is to attract, promote and/or organize major amateur sporting events, and grassroots youth sports programs, that foster the ongoing development and quality of life for the entire Tampa Bay area. The Tampa Bay Sports Commission works to unite all interests in the Bay Area under one full-service approach that provides leadership and guidance for the benefit of all parties involved with amateur and youth sports. The Sports Commission works with area convention and visitors bureaus to provide a wealth of services to potential events and their governing bodies.
United Soccer Leagues
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, United Soccer Leagues has become the largest organization of elite-level soccer leagues in North America by building on the vision, commitment, and passion of players, fans and investors. Now in its third decade of operation, USL continues to be a driving force in the growth of soccer in the United States, Canada and Caribbean. USL provides a clearly defined path for the progression of male and female soccer players beginning at the youth level (USL Super Y-League/USL Super-20 League), continuing up through the amateur level (USL Premier Development League/USL W-League) and on to the professional level (USL PRO, MISL). A platform for countless players to reach for their dreams each year, USL is devoted to developing the sport at the grassroots level in every community across the region.