By Charles Boehm
The Washington Area Girls Soccer League has released the list of accepted teams for its Rael Vodicka Memorial tournament over Columbus Day Weekend, and once again the event is set to play host to many of the top girls’ squads on the Eastern Seaboard and beyond.
Featuring multiple brackets in each of the Under-11 through U-15 age groups and showcase formats for the U-16, U-17 and U-19 divisions, the WAGS Tournament perennially offers top-notch opposition, and exposure, for elite clubs and this year’s edition looks to be no different.
Most of the younger age groups feature “WAGS Cup” premier flights as well as A and B divisions, designed to offer a balanced blend of competition to all participants.
Teams from as far afield as Tennessee, Wisconsion, Texas, Florida, Canada and California are making long journeys to participate, including the likes of Palm Beach MagicJacks, FC Alliance, D’Feeters, Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks and Barcelona Ohio.
Locally-based powerhouses like Bethesda SC, PWSI Courage, FC Virginia, Chantilly, and Braddock Road will also take part, with many set to renew Mid-Atlantic rivalries with regional contenders like FASA, Baltimore Bays, SAC United, Richmond Kickers, CRUSA FC (Pennsylvania), Albertson SC (New York) and PDA (New Jersey).
“I’m really pleased to see the Cup flight and A entries we were able to bring back,” WAGS President Kathie Diapoulis told Potomac Soccer Wire this week. “I think historically, it is a place where you can come to play some of the best teams in the country.
“The other nice thing about this tournament is that it gives the college coaches that chance to find some [players in] positions on their team they have not yet filled, which makes the [Under-]17s very important, but the [Under-]18s and [Under-]19s as well.”
Played in cooler fall weather on quality grass and turf fields across the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., the WAGS Tournament is typically well-attended by NCAA scouts, who have the opportunity to watch players in mid-season form, closer to their optimal levels of performance than earlier events in summer heat.
Named in honor of the league’s co-founder and first president, the WAGS Rael Vodicka Memorial tourney dates back to 1975 and this year’s edition takes place from October 8-10.