US Youth Soccer Region III Tournament Complete

In February 2008, a delegation of Baton Rouge and Louisiana Soccer Association officials, accompanied by and with the support of the City of Baton Rouge, the Baton Rouge Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and the Baton Rouge Area Sports Foundation, traveled to Pittsburgh, PA to secure the 2010 US Youth Soccer Region III Championships. 28 months later, approximately 4,000 soccer players encompassing 184 teams from 11 states arrived in Baton Rouge bringing with them a travel party of 8,000 family, friends, state officials, regional tournament staff and referees. Analysis by the Baton Rouge Area Sports Foundation estimates the economic impact of the event to be just over $7.27 million.

Opening CeremonyThe tournament kicked off on June 17th with the team registration and opening ceremonies at LSU’s Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Athletes, parents and coaches packed the PMAC for the traditional state pin swap, then settled in for a performance by the Futboleros, a traveling soccer entertainment group from Los Angeles. The ceremonies included welcomes from Mayor Kip Holden, BRACVB President Paul Arrigo, and Bob Singer, US Youth Soccer Region III Director. Representatives from each of the 12 Region III associations processed onto the PMAC floor accompanied by local jazz band The Michael Foster Project and announced the teams representing their state association in each age group.

Play began on Friday, June 18th with pool play in each of the six age groups (U14-U19). Saturday saw a significant rain/lightning delay that pushed U-18 games all the way back to a 12 a.m. start and had those teams playing well into the night. 96 teams remained at the conclusion of pool play on Sunday evening, with 8 teams in 12 age groups qualifying for the knock-out rounds. The quarterfinals and semifi-nals were played early in the day on Monday and Tuesday, eliminating some of the heat and possible afternoon thunderstorms. And by mid-day Wednesday, after six games in six days of competition, 12 teams had qualified for the US Youth Soccer Nationals in Overland Park, Kansas. Teams from North Texas nabbed 5 spots at Nationals, followed by Georgia with three teams and South Texas with two. North Carolina and Florida each had one team qualify.

The Baton Rouge Area Sports Foundation would like to commend the Baton Rouge Soccer Association and Louisiana Soccer Association for putting on a fantastic event that was widely hailed as one of the best Region III tournaments to date. The dedication and hard work of your staffs and volunteers over not only the duration of the tournament but in the months and years leading up to this event was exceptional. Congratulations also to BREC and the Burbank Soccer Complex crew who did a tremendous job not only in preparing and maintaining the fields during the event, but also in keeping the complex clean and tidy throughout the duration of the tournament. Also a big thanks to the staff of the Baton Rouge Convention and Visitor’s Bureau for your work with our local hotel properties and for putting together a fantastic opening ceremony.

Thanks to the Advocate for providing coverage on the tournament throughout the week. Click on the links below to see a review of the tournament.

Divided interests for Region III Soccer Players

Four BR soccer teams qualify for regionals

Last team exits regional soccer tournament

U.S. Youth Soccer Southern Regional Championships report

BR will host youth soccer regional in 2010