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Tournaments May 21, 2015

Seven U.S. states, Canada represented at Virginia Rush Ralph Downey Memorial Day Classic

A total of 190 teams representing soccer clubs from seven U.S. states and Canada will compete in the 2015 Virginia Rush Ralph Downey Memorial Day Classic this weekend in Virginia Beach, the event’s largest edition to date in terms of size and geographic reach.

Along with a 40-team boost from 2014 has come an uptick in quality of competition, in part because of the tournament’s strong base of local teams from Southeast Virginia. Host club Virginia Rush has entered its “Elite” National Premier Leagues (NPL) and Virginia Soccer League (VSL) teams in almost every top bracket, while neighbor club Beach FC which shares the Hampton Roads Soccer Complex with Rush, has also put several of its high level “Red” Club Champions League (CCL) teams in the competitive “Black” Divisions.

Other attending clubs will be coming in from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, North Carolina, New Jersey and Ontario, Canada.

“We want the best representation of local teams for all of the events we host in the area, whether it’s Beach or Rush,” said Virginia Rush Tournament Director Stephen Holmes. “The beach is a great spot to come for Memorial Day weekend, and we’re really trying to build an atmosphere for a staple event in Southeast Virginia.”

As other nearby clubs such as Williamsburg’s Virginia Legacy have also elected to enter some of their own CCL sides in the Ralph Downey Classic, the event is establishing staying power in the crowded Memorial Day weekend tournament scene. One of the fastest areas of growth for the Ralph Downey Memorial Day Classic has been in the younger age groups from U-10 to U-12, several of which are now as many as four divisions deep.

Under the event’s new division naming system, Elite level “Black” flights are succeeded by Premier and Classic level “Blue”, “Grey” and “White” Divisions.

Due to the increase in participation, the event has expanded to three field locations. While the heavy majority of matches will be played at the Hampton Roads Soccer Complex, nearby Princess Anne Athletic Complex and Virginia Beach SportsPlex will also be utilized.

+2015 Ralph Downey Memorial Day Classic Brackets and Schedule

Each Virginia Rush tournament promotes the Wounded Warrior Project, one of the nation’s largest charitable veteran service organizations. With the Ralph Downey Classic being played over Memorial Day weekend, the event’s partnership with Wounded Warrior takes on an even greater meaning.

“We have places out at the fields where teams can donate if they’re able, and we really try to push a great cause at all of our tournaments,” Holmes said. “We truly love what the Wounded Warrior Project does, it’s a staple of the Rush tournaments and this especially this weekend we want to do as much as we can for the foundation.”

The Ralph Downey Memorial Day Classic runs May 23-24. Each team is guaranteed three matches.

See below for a list of attending clubs, sorted by location…

Attending Clubs by State/Country

Canada: Darlington Energy

Maryland: Arundel Soccer Association, Calvert Soccer Association, Calverton SC, FC Casa, St. Mary’s Soccer,

New Jersey: Eleftheria Pancyprian SC, Freehold Soccer League

New York: Southern Tier FC, Town of Wallkill SC

North Carolina: Impact FC, OBX Storm, Triangle United Soccer Association

Ohio: Cincinnati West SC

Pennsylvania: Bloomsburg SC, Dillsburg Area SC, FC York, Pittsburgh FC, St. Thomas More SC

Virginia: Alexandria Soccer Association, Beach FC, Burke Athletic Club, Central Virginia United, Chantilly Youth Association, Chesapeake SC, Churchland Soccer, FC Milan, FC Virginia, FCV Ashburn, Fredericksburg FC, Great Falls SC, Hampton Roads Strikers, Herndon Youth Soccer, Lee Mount Vernon SC, Leesburg FC, Loudoun Soccer, Norfolk United, Old Dominion SC, Richmond Kickers, Richmond Strikers, Shenandoah Valley United, Soccer Organization of Charlottesville Area (SOCA), Stafford Soccer, Sterling FC, Team America FC, Valley Academy FC, Vienna Youth Soccer, VIP United FC, Virginia Legacy SC, Virginia Rush, VISTA FC, Western Branch SC

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