First Regional Tournament
Comes to Oregon
Oregon hosted its first-ever Regional Tournament in June as 96 teams from nine states came to Medford for the second Regional Presidents Cup to be held in Region IV.
Oregon's Presidents Cup has historically been the end of the road for non-premier teams tasting the biscuit of high-stakes competition. Last year however, US Youth Soccer Region IV introduced a regional event for non-premier teams from states with over 30,000 registered members. States with less than 30,000 members could enter their State Cup runner-ups. The idea was to give mid-level teams a chance to play at a higher competitive level, since premier teams tend to dominate Regional and National tournaments.
Winners in the U13 to U17 age brackets of Oregon's Presidents Cup now advance to a Regional Tournament similar to US Youth Soccer's Far West Regionals. The winners of the US Youth Soccer Region IV Presidents Cup advance to the National Presidents Cup Tournament, similar to the National Championship Series.
"It has been tough for us to attract regional events because there wasn't a facility in the state that was large enough to accommodate the number of teams typically required for Regional competitions," notes Oregon Youth Soccer executive director Chuck Keers.
However, since the Presidents Cup is currently a smaller tournament, Oregon Youth Soccer was able to win the bid to host the event. The US Cellular Community Park in Medford was selected as the site venue because it has 11 lighted artificial turf fields in one complex, and enough hotel inventory to accommodate all of the teams and their families. Five of the fields are dedicated soccer fields and six are softball fields that can be lined and converted for soccer use.
Staff from the US Youth Soccer national office attended, as did many board members and volunteers from the regional office. Joe Ver, President of Alaska Youth Soccer, was Tournament Director, and Region IV Director Jolene Nielson provided regional and logistical support.
OYSA's Director of Leagues and Tournaments, Scott Enyart, was responsible for winning the bid to bring the event to Oregon, and also had primary organizational and operational responsibility leading up to and during the competition. Enyart was helped out by virtually every member of the OYSA staff, as well as staff from the City of Medford Parks and Recreation Department.
"It's a huge undertaking to prepare for an event of this size," Enyart says. "I checked my Presidents Cup e-mail folder right before the tournament and I had over 1,500 e-mails. Volunteers from the Rogue Valley Soccer Club and other local member clubs helped out, but the city and association staffs put in 18-hour days to pull this off."
Adds Keers: "As the tournament grows in age groups and popularity, it might be a challenge to bring it back to Oregon."
Cal South was the big winner, with eight teams winning their brackets and sweeping the girls' competition. Nevada's U15 boys and Idaho's U16 boys kept California from sweeping it all.
The weather was great, the mood festive and venue spectacular. The event was estimated to have a $5.6 million economic impact on the city of Medford and surrounding communities. If you have not had a chance to visit, you owe it to yourself to find a reason to go — it is a warm and welcoming community with plenty to do in addition to soccer. The world famous Rogue River runs just north of town, the artsy community of Ashland is just south of town and the coast and Crater Lake are only 90 minutes away.
For complete results from the 2010 Region IV Presidents Cup Championships, visit oregonyouthsoccer.org.