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Tournaments Mar 13, 2020

Top youth soccer events canceled nationwide, wiping out busy college recruiting period

The nationwide shutdown of large events due to concerns over the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has hit the youth soccer community especially hard, as the pivotal spring recruiting season has been all but wiped out for thousands of student-athletes.

On a national level, the months of March and April are among the busiest on the youth soccer calendar, a time when many of the top college showcase tournaments take place on an annual basis.

Events such as the Dallas Cup and the Generation adidas Cup are not only premier level tournaments for prospective college soccer players, but for future professional players as well, as scouts from around the world flock to the international competitions every year.

The Dallas Cup, known for its slogan of ‘Welcome World’, has hosted top teams from more than 100 countries during its 40-year history. The prestigious tournament has been canceled for the first time since its inception in 1980.

Major League Soccer’s 2020 Generation adidas Cup was scheduled to host 40 elite professional academies spanning 11 countries from April 4-11 alongside the Dallas Cup. Both events are regarded as premier opportunities for MLS academy players to earn professional contracts with domestic and international clubs.

U.S. Soccer has canceled upcoming Men’s and Women’s Senior National Team matches in March and April, and the majority of U.S. Youth National Team camps that were planned through the end of April.

The Federation also suspended all U.S. Soccer Development Academy Boys’ and Girls’ regular season matches through the end of April, and canceled the 2020 Development Academy Spring Cup to be held April 29-May 4 in Kansas City, Mo. and Greensboro, N.C., as a precaution against the spread of Coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) suspended all league-sanctioned activities through April 30. This includes the cancelation of the ECNL Girls Phoenix Spring National Event in April, the ECNL Boys South Carolina National Event in April, all ECNL Conference Selection Program Events through April 30, and all ECNL SuperCup events through the same date.

On Tuesday, US Youth Soccer announced the cancelation of this month’s USYS National League Las Vegas Events due to concerns over the Coronavirus. The National League Boys Las Vegas event was scheduled for March 13-15, and the Girls event was originally set for March 20-22. Both were supposed to be played alongside the Las Vegas Players Showcase, which was also canceled.

One of the top youth soccer tournaments on the East Coast, the Jefferson Cup, has canceled the remaining three weekends of its 2020 event. The Jefferson Cup was able to complete the first of its four total weekends from March 7-8, featuring teams in the U10-U15 Boys age groups.

In addition, international travel plans for both US Youth Soccer’s Olympic Development Program (ODP) and US Club Soccer’s id2 National Selection Program have been postponed.

The Super Y League canceled the 2020 USL Experience, which was set to be hosted in April by USL club Birmingham Legion FC in Alabama.

Along with these prominent national competitions and many others, virtually all regional, state and local organizations have followed suit in immediately suspending activities in light of COVID-19 concerns. Most have targeted the end of April as the desired time to end their suspensions.

If that timeline holds up, then Memorial Day weekend could shape up to be the busiest college soccer recruiting weekend in recent memory.

SoccerWire is currently seeking newsworthy stories from the youth soccer community relating to the Coronavirus. To share your stories or news tips, email us at [email protected].