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Baton Rouge FestForAll commemorates upcoming 2014 US Youth Soccer Region III Championships



Baton Rouge FestForAll commemorates upcoming US Youth Soccer Region III Championships

Read the full article from The Advocate

An annual Baton Rouge arts festival has embraced the influx of soccer enthusiasts who will be coming to the area in June for the 2014 US Youth Soccer Region III (South) Championships.

FestForAll, Baton Rouge’s premier art and music festival presented by the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge, added soccer to the traditional mix of art and music in preparation for this summer’s Region III Championships, which will be held June 19-26 at the BREC Burbank Soccer Complex.

The combination of art and soccer provided the highlight of the event, as the arts council held a “Get a Kick Out of Art” exhibit.

“We asked 25 area artists to paint soccer balls that will be unveiled at FestForAll,” said Kathy Scherer, the art council’s deputy director. “We asked them to use a Baton Rouge or a Louisiana theme. The soccer balls will be on display on the grounds of the Old State Capitol during the festival.”

Following the festival, the soccer balls will be displayed in local restaurants. Visitors and participants in the Region III Championships will be able to enter a raffle for a chance to win one of 20 decorated balls.

The Region III Championships, which will feature top teams in the Under-13 through Under-19 age groups, begin Thursday, June 19, with opening ceremonies at the Baton Rouge River Center. Round robin games are Friday, June 20, through Sunday, June 22. Quarterfinals, semifinals and finals will take place Monday, June 23 through Thursday, June 26.

US Youth Soccer State Cup Champions and select runners-up from 12 US Youth Soccer State Associations in Region III, including host Louisiana Soccer Association, will participate. The other State Associations represented are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Texas and Tennessee. The teams playing in the Region III Championships have the chance to advance to the 2014 US Youth Soccer National Championships, held July 21-27 at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Md.

Teams competing in the Regional Championships advance through the first step of the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, where more than 10,000 teams began their journey at the US Youth Soccer State Championships. State champions advance to the one of four US Youth Soccer Regional Championships, where nearly a thousand teams compete. 

The US Youth Soccer National Championship Series is the country's most prestigious national youth soccer tournament. The event provides more than 185,000 players from US Youth Soccer's 55 state associations, the opportunity to showcase their soccer skills against the best competition in the nation while emphasizing teamwork, discipline and fair play. The Series is known as the ultimate destination for the country's collegiate soccer coaches and the future of soccer.