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Boys Nov 02, 2016

Eastern Regional League, Elite Tournaments announce partnership

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COLUMBIA, MD (Via US Youth Soccer) – The US Youth Soccer Region I Eastern Regional League and Elite Tournaments have announced a partnership for 2017 that will provide new showcase and group play opportunities. The joint effort will see teams from the Mid-Atlantic and New England states battle in league play within the structure of Elite Tournaments’ current event schedule.

The league will follow the model established by the US Youth Soccer National League. The weekend events will additionally serve as a showcase for teams with players wishing to get recruited at the collegiate level.

“We believe this partnership gives us the ability to utilize a proven model that affords our competitors a great chance to maximize their opportunity to play high caliber opponents in a tournament setting that increases their exposure to college coaches,” ERL Commissioner Tim McCoy said.

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The Eastern Regional League provides an opportunity for teams in Region I to play each other while also competing for placement in the US Youth Soccer Region I Championships. Teams can also earn qualification to participate in the US Youth Soccer National League.

“The model of playing games within existing events has been successful for the National League and will help bring exposure to the Eastern Regional League to new teams, as well as college coaches,” said Mike Libber, President of Elite Tournaments.

The Eastern Regional League will utilize four of Elite Tournaments’ events this spring to provide these game play opportunities. The first event to take place will be the Premier Cup Boys Weekend powered by Under Armour, which runs March 10-12, followed by the Premier Cup Spring Shootout powered by Under Armour, April 13-15. Both events take place in Northern Virginia. The Eastern Regional League Showcase for the Girls is set for March 31-April 2 with the Boys Showcase slated for April 21-23; both events will be played at the Kirkwood Soccer Complex. Teams will then have the opportunity to compete in scenic upstate New York at the Adidas Empire Cup College Showcase. The Empire Boys weekend will take place May 6-7, while the Empire Girls weekend will follow on May 13-14. These events will provide playing opportunities for all the league age groups — 13U-19U.

“We are excited to partner with Region I and the Eastern Regional League. We think this model will be advantageous to Elite Tournaments, the ERL, and its member teams by providing for higher profile events to better showcase these teams. We are honored that Region I recognized our reputation for hosting first-class events and wanted to integrate the ERL within our existing tournaments,” Libber said.

The scheduled league games will be integrated into the tournament/showcase event schedule. Six of each team’s league games will be scheduled in this new format. With each team attending two three-game group-play events. Teams will play one game per day from Friday through Sunday.

“Our new approach was recommended by our Coaches Advisory Committee with an eye toward controlling long distance travel. In the past, we’ve had teams have to travel long distances and book overnight accommodations for a number of games. This will merge those games, reducing the number of long trips,” McCoy said.

The 2017 Region I Eastern Regional League season will kick off play on February 1, 2017.

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