Two hundred teams vying for 2012 U.S. Youth Soccer Region III championship
Teams, parents, referees, tournament officials and volunteers gathered at the Fluor Field Thursday to kick off the 2012 US Youth Soccer Region III (South) Championships presented by the National Guard.
Preliminary games began this morning 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.
Follow the action on http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org/regionIII