Maryland based event management outfit Elite Tournaments has joined forces with Tottenham Hotspur Football Development, the coaching division of the English Premier League Club, to stage a new youth soccer tournament in Maryland this August designed to showcase top American talent and reward 16 players with a five-day player development program at Tottenham Hotspur’s training facilities in London.
The inaugural Tottenham Hotspur America Cup will take place August 3-5 at Covenant Park in Ellicott City, Md., just west of Baltimore, and is open to boys teams in the Under-11 through U-14 age groups.
“We are thrilled to be working with Tottenham Hotspur Football Development to launch this exclusive event,” said Mike Libber, founder and president of Elite Tournaments.
“Tottenham Hotspur are famous for their rich history, passionate fan base and commitment to excellence both on and off the field. We are honored to help the club develop their presence in the United States, especially among the youth soccer community, where there are so many talented players who love the beautiful game.”
The Tottenham Hotspur America Cup opens with a coaching clinic hosted by the club’s football development staff and continues with two days of tournament soccer. All matches will be watched by the club’s coaches, who will determine who earns one of the coveted spots in a week-long player development residential program.
The program includes premier accommodations and dining, daily training sessions and seminars, stadium tours of White Hart Lane and Wembley Stadium.
Commenting on the announcement of the partnership Mark Jones, Head of Tottenham Hotspur Football Development, said: “This is a fantastic partnership for us and we are really looking forward to having the opportunity to work with Elite Tournaments to deliver a fantastic program for young soccer fans in and around Baltimore.
“As a club, Tottenham Hotspur has a reputation for playing entertaining and attacking soccer. The Football Development team share this philosophy and coaches young players to play with the same sense of flair, style and adventure as the like of Gareth Bale, Rafa van der Vaart and Luka Modric. Our goal is to deliver the best learning environment possible, to encourage and develop the skills and techniques of all those players that attend one of our programs.”
Organized to coincide with Tottenham Hotspur’s all-Premier League friendly match against Liverpool FC at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday, July 28, the Tottenham Hotspur America Cup is sanctioned through U.S. Club Soccer as an unrestricted event open to U.S. Youth Soccer and U.S. Club Soccer teams. Registration is limited to 16 teams per age group, so interested clubs are urged to sign up well ahead of the June 15 registration deadline.
At the conclusion of the tournament, four players from each age group will be extended the invitation to take part in the player development residential program. While the opportunity is not intended to offer professional opportunities for those who take part, it does offer rare first hand exposure to a world-class professional training environment.
“Tottenham supporters are ‘fans for life,’ and we believe that this program will prove why,” noted Libber. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to let 16 of our country’s top youth players see what everyday life is like in a Premier League academy team.
“We commend Tottenham Hotspur Football Development for recognizing the enormous potential in the U.S. soccer community and generously contributing their resources and expertise to support player development in this country. Like us, they truly believe that the sky is the limit for our next generation of players and coaches.”
Founded in 1882, Tottenham have won two English league championships and are eight-time winners of the celebrated FA Cup. The current squad has enjoyed a return to prominence under manager Harry Redknapp and is presently vying for a top-four finish in the EPL, a position which could result in qualification for the UEFA Champions League at the close of the current season. The team is led by stars like English National Team captain Scott Parker, American goalkeeper Brad Friedel, Croatian playmaker Luka Modric and exciting Welsh winger Gareth Bale.