200 teams vie for the 2012 US Youth Soccer Region III Championship title
Games kickoff at 8:15 a.m. ET Friday, June 15.
Follow the moments on http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org/regionIII
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Greenville, S.C. (June 14, 2011) – Teams, parents, referees, tournament officials and volunteers gathered at the Fluor Field Thursday to kickoff the 2012 US Youth Soccer Region III (South) Championships presented by the National Guard. The National Guard's partnership with US Youth Soccer is focused on enriching the soccer experience by positively influencing players and coaches in areas of leadership and character development while adding a strong presence of American pride.
Preliminary games begin Friday at 8:15 a.m. at MeSA Soccer Complex in Greenville, S.C. Teams proudly paraded onto the outfield at Fluor Field carrying state flags before being addressed by Liz Seman of the county council and Paul Caligiuri, former member of the U.S. Men’s National Team and member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
"The excitement level at the opening ceremonies really reflects the prestige of this event," said Pearse Tormey, co-executive director of Carolina Elite Soccer Academy and chair of the local organizing committee. "The best players from all around the southern states have congregated in Greenville and we are honored to host such a high class event."
Caligiuri acknowledged that the bulk of his playing career happened before most of the players he addressed were born, but related the successes of his teams to the current soccer landscape.
"Today, you have teams qualifying for world cup competitions and Olympics. A couple generations before you, we broke through by scoring an incredible goal that launched us to the World Cup in 1990," Caligiuri said. "The bottom line is when you take the field, do you want to win. It’s about leaderships and what you do as players to help your team succeed. When you come to an event like this you represent more than just yourself, your family and your city. You are representing your state."
Returning to regional competition this year are five past US Youth Soccer Region III Champions: Sting 97 (NTX), Sting 95 (NTX), NASA Elite (GA), Florida Rush Nike (FL) and Alpharetta Ambush Elite Red (GA).
2011 US Youth Soccer Region III Champions
*Returning to 2012 Region III Championships
Under-14 Sting 97 (NTX)*
Under-15 Sting 96 (NTX)
Under-16 Sting 95 (NTX)*
Under-17 NASA Elite (GA)*
Under-18 Team Boca (FL)
Under-19 Dallas Texans (NTX)
Under-14 Dallas Texans (NTX)
Under-15 Solar Chelsea 96 (NTX)
Under-16 CESA 94 Premier (SC)
Under-17 Florida Rush Nike (FL)*
Under-18 Alpharetta Ambush Elite Red (GA)*
Under-19 Dallas Texans 92 (NTX)
The top 200 US Youth Soccer boys and girls teams from the 12 State Associations that make up US Youth Soccer Region III will compete for the 2012 regional title. Preliminary games will be held June 15-17 with quarterfinals, semifinals and finals June 18-21. Most games will be played at the MeSA Soccer Complex in Greenville, S.C, with U-19 preliminary games taking place at Wenwood Soccer Complex nearby.
The US Youth Soccer National Championships will consist of US Youth Soccer Regional Champions in the Under-14 through Under-19 Boys and Girls age groups as well as the US Youth Soccer National League qualifiers in the Under-15 through Under-17 Boys and Girls age groups to complete the field of 60 teams.
Daily reports and complete results from the tournament are available on http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org. Follow the moments from the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series on Twitter and share the moments with us on Facebook.
About the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series – The US Youth Soccer National Championship Series provides more than 10,000 teams from US Youth Soccer's 55 State Associations the opportunity to showcase their abilities against the best in the nation while emphasizing teamwork, discipline and fair play. The yearlong competition begins with over 185,000 players in the US Youth Soccer State Championships. These champions and selected wildcard teams, through US Youth Soccer Regional Leagues, advance to compete in one of four the US Youth Soccer Regional Championships. Champions (U-14 through U-19) from each regional event advance to the US Youth Soccer National Championships. The Under-15 through 17 Boys and Girls age groups have two teams representative of the US Youth Soccer National League, in which the top two teams in each gender age group earn a direct path to the national championships. Overall the National Championship Series provides top collegiate coaches with the premier stage to identify and scout the most coveted players in the country. For more information, visit http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org.
About the United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer) – US Youth Soccer - "The Game for ALL Kids!®" is the largest youth sports organization in the country and largest member of the United States Soccer Federation, the governing body of soccer in the United States. US Youth Soccer registers more than 3 million players annually, ages 5 to 19, and over 900,000 administrators, coaches and volunteers in 55 member State Associations. US Youth Soccer programs provide a fun, safe and healthy environment for players at every level of the game. For more information, visit www.USYouthSoccer.org.