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US Region I comes to Huntington area

Jul. 02, 2010 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Let the games begin!

The US Youth Soccer Region I Championships begin Friday for 256 boys and girls teams with players from age 11 to 19 from West Virginia, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Virginia and Vermont.

Matches are being played at the Barboursville Soccer Complex, the main location, and seven miles away at the Scott Orthopedic Soccer Complex at the Huntington YMCA Kennedy Center.

Opening ceremonies were held Thursday in Joan C. Edwards Stadium at Marshall University, complete with an Olympic-style parade of participants.

"Having the Region I Championships in the Huntington area is a tremendous opportunity for us to showcase Marshall University and the surrounding Cabell County area," Marshall men's soccer coach Bob Gray said. "Over 10,000 soccer fans are coming in from all over the northeast and we look forward to showcasing the university and the men's soccer program to those families, as well as to show the passion for soccer and love of the game the soccer community has here in Herd territory."

West Virginia and the West Virginia Soccer Association hosted the tournament last year and are hosting it again this year as part of the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship Series. Last year's event had an economic impact of slightly more than $12.1 million, said West Virginia Soccer Association president Len Rogers.

Visitors booked about 11,000 room nights at area hotels from Grayson, Ky., to east of Charleston. Even some rooms have been booked in Gallipolis, Ohio.

An estimated 1,400 people including players, families and referees are housed in Marshall dorms.

US YOUTH SOCCER REGION I TOURNAMENT

Thursday, July 1

3:40 p.m., Opening ceremony, Joan C. Edwards Stadium at Marshall University

Friday, July 2

All day, Preliminary games, Barboursville Soccer Complex and Huntington YMCA Kennedy Center

Saturday, July 3

All day, Preliminary games, Barboursville Soccer Complex and Huntington YMCA Kennedy Center

Sunday, July 4

All day, Preliminary games, Barboursville Soccer Complex and Huntington YMCA Kennedy Center

Monday, July 5

TBA, Semifinal games, Barboursville Soccer Complex

Tuesday, July 6

TBA, Championship games, Barboursville Soccer Complex

(u'nobuy',)