Spring fling: PWSI Icebreaker tournament reaches record size in 2014
Officials at Prince William Soccer, Inc. were mightily disappointed to see the second edition of their Presidents Day College Showcase called off due to snowy weather last weekend. Yet the club has reason for optimism as the countdown begins to their next major event, the PWSI Icebreaker Tournament, which opens on March 22.
The event has become a leading choice for a wide range of Mid-Atlantic youth teams seeking an appropriate way to kick off their spring seasons, and tournament organizer John Faircloth reports that an increased number of participants have signed on for 2014.
Though registration does not close for a few more hours, PWSI has already received applications from nearly 500 teams, a substantial jump from 2013 levels.
“It’s obviously a step up from last year,” Faircloth told SoccerWire.com. “We’ve got strong teams coming from Western Pennsylvania, Western New York and North Carolina in addition to our usual turnout from across Virginia and Maryland.”
This Icebreaker will welcome representatives from clubs like CASL (Raleigh, N.C.) and Beach FC (Va.) in addition to several contenders from the host club itself. Elite travel teams will take part, but so will many squads with a less intense outlook.
“This is going to be a good level tournament,” said Faircloth. “We have all different levels, from most competitive down to least competitive.”
Just as they do with their Toys for Tots Tournament in the fall, PWSI adds a community-service angle to this event, in partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Passback Program.
Every player who takes part in the Icebreaker is asked to bring used soccer equipment to registration, or to any game site for collection. At the end of the tournament, the equipment will be collected and distributed to those in need.
Icebreaker opens with Under-9 through U-12 boys age group brackets on March 22-23, and continues with all other ages the following weekend (March 29-30).
After winter storms disrupted their past two events, Faircloth and his colleagues are cautiously optimistic that they can catch a break from Mother Nature this time around.
“We still have four or five inches of snow on our fields,” he said with a laugh. “We’re due for good weather.”