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Tournaments Nov 08, 2013

Youth teams hunt midseason tests, Jeff Cup slots at Capital Fall Classic in Richmond

The late-autumn stretch of the youth soccer tournament calendar kicks into gear on Saturday as the Richmond Strikers host the opening weekend of the Capital Fall Classic at several venues across Virginia’s capital city.

The tournament, which opens with boys’ divisions and continues with girls brackets next week, welcomes a range of teams from across the Mid-Atlantic region seeking a competitive event in which to test their mid-season form.

A range of excellent natural-grass and synthetic-turf playing surfaces at facilities like Striker Park, West Creek and the River City Sportsplex provide compelling stages on which to perform, and the central Virginia winter has usually not bitten quite yet (this weekend’s forecast calls for sunshine and daytime high temperatures hovering around 60 degrees).

[ +Check out a selection of photographer Jimmy LaRoue’s top images from last year’s CFC ]

But the Capital Fall Classic holds an even bigger attraction for some of the East Coast’s most ambitious squads: A direct path into next year’s Jefferson Cup.

Win your bracket in a premier division at the CFC, and you win twice, earning acceptance into the 2014 edition of the Strikers’ premier event, one of the top tournaments in the country and a bearishly difficult event to qualify for thanks to interest from teams across the continent. The 2014 Jeff Cup takes place March 7-9 and 14-16.

As one tournament organizer told SoccerWire.com last year, “this is one of the ways that they can actually prove that they’re a quality team that can compete with Jeff Cup participants.”

That policy is one factor among several which have sparked CFC’s growth from some 200 teams participating to nearly twice that number over the past two years, with the 2013 edition set to break another record for size.

“This year’s event will attract upwards of 350 travel teams from the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond,” notes tournament director Chris Friant. “The Fall Classic should not only be an outstanding end-of-season tournament for travel teams but could be used as a pre-college showcase event in preparation for the college showcase events held later in November and December.”

2013CFCFrontGraphicIndeed, even at this time of year the clock is ticking – not just for Jefferson Cup hopefuls but for elite teams eager to build towards the pivotal competitions ahead.

SoccerWire.com staff will be onsite at the Capital Fall Classic all weekend. Find our full CFC coverage here, and visit the tournament’s official website for more information. Live updates can be followed via the event’s Twitter handle, @rsktournaments.

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