Barboursville vies for new tourney
BARBOURSVILLE -- Fear not, soccer fans.
The US Youth Soccer Region I Championships might have ended their two-year stay in the Tri-State, but there might be another major tournament that could soon call Barboursville its temporary home.
West Virginia Soccer Association president Len Rogers confirmed on Tuesday that Barboursville is one of two cities in the running for the 2011 and 2012 USASA National Veterans Cup, a tournament for players 30-and-over that would bring 100 to 125 teams to the Tri-State.
"There are two of us still in the running for the bid -- Orlando and us," Rogers said. "We'll just have to wait and see who gets it."
Ironically, Rogers' confirmation of being one of two finalists to host this national tournament came on the day in which the US Youth Soccer Region I Championships were finishing at the Barboursville Soccer Complex.
After hosting such a large tournament, one might think that Rogers would want to take some time off.
"Eh, that tournament is a year away," Rogers joked. "I'll be fine."
On a more serious note, Rogers wants to see the momentum built by the hosting of the US Youth Soccer Region I Tournament to continue and trying to land the veterans tournament was the best way to do so.
"We want to build our adult leagues and participation in the Veterans Cup, so it would be a big deal if we could land it now," Rogers said.
Also, this particular tournament would provide an entirely different soccer experience to the area, according to Dave Laraba, WVSA's executive director.
"With the Veterans Cup, players in the tournament use it as their family vacations and have a good time while playing soccer and competing for a national championship," Laraba said.
This tournament would roughly be half the size of the recently departed US Youth Soccer Region I Championships, but there is a distinct difference between the two tournaments that adds appeal to the USASA National Veteran's Cup.
Teams competing in the US Youth Soccer Region I Championships advanced to the US Youth Soccer National Championships, which will take place July 21-25 in Overland Park, Kan.
The USASA National Veteran's Cup is the adult equivalent of the national championships, meaning there is added excitement for this tournament, according to Dave Laraba, executive director for WVSA.
"This is the national tournament. They aren't going anywhere else," Laraba said. "When they leave this tournament, it's over for them so they have a lot more fun with it."
The tournament features 100 to 125 teams in 14 separate divisions -- eight men's divisions and six women's divisions.
Currently, there are 103 teams registered for the 2010 USASA Veteran's Cup, which takes place July 13-18 in Lancaster, Mass.
It would not be the first time the state of West Virginia has hosted the USASA Veteran's Cup. Beckley served as the tournament's home in 2001 and 2002.