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Lancaster chosen to host soccer championships.

FRISCO, TEXAS - United States Youth Soccer Association (US Youth Soccer) announced on June 3 that Lancaster will host the 2009 US Youth Soccer National Championships, the country's most prestigious national youth soccer tournament.

Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association (Mass Youth) will serve as the local organizing committee for the event, scheduled to be played at the Citizens Bank Fields at Progin Park, July 21 to 26, 2009.

"We are excited that the 2009 US Youth Soccer National Championships will be held at Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association's new complex," said Larry Monaco, president of US Youth Soccer. "All of us look forward to working with the host association.

"Each year, the nation's top players look forward to another year of outstanding competition as teams earn their way from state to regional and national finals competitions, striving to be one of the top 60 teams in the country playing for the US Youth Soccer National Championships," he said.

"Massachusetts is happy to welcome the US Youth Soccer National Championships back to the east coast in 2009," said Sid Bloom, president of Mass Youth Soccer. "The vision of the Citizens Bank Fields at Progin Park in Lancaster was to host the top events in the country, and the awarding of the 2009 US Youth Soccer National Championships speaks to that vision and the quality of our new complex."

The US Youth Soccer National Championships Series provides over 185,000 players on more than 10,000 teams from US Youth Soccer's 55 state associations the opportunity to showcase their soccer skills against the best competition in the nation while emphasizing teamwork, discipline and fair play.

The US Youth Soccer National Championships cap a yearlong series of competitions for boys and girls teams in multiple age brackets. US Youth Soccer State Champions and selected wildcard teams in most age groups are eligible to compete in one of four US Youth Soccer Regional Championships.

The champions in the Under-14 through Under-19 age brackets from each regional event and the US Youth Soccer National League will converge on Lancaster to enjoy the nation's top competition.

2009 marks the second year for teams from the US Youth Soccer National League to compete in the National Championships. The National League consists of teams in the Under-15, Under-16 and Under-17 age groups, boys and girls, during the 2008-2009 seasonal year, and the top two teams from each of the gender age groups will automatically advance to the US Youth Soccer National Championships.

Annually, the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series provides the nation's top collegiate coaches with a stage to identify and scout the top players in the country. In 2007, over 500 coaches attended the US Youth Soccer Regional Championships, including the majority of the top 25 men's and women's programs based on the final 2007 NSCAA/adidas National Rankings for NCAA Division I schools.

Recent host locations for the US Youth Soccer National Championships include Orlando, Fla., Lawrence, Ind., Germantown, Md., Des Moines, Iowa, and Frisco, Texas. The 2008 US Youth Soccer National Championships are to be held at Burns Park Soccer Complex in North Little Rock, Ark.

US Youth Soccer is the largest youth sports organization in the country. It registers more than 3.2 million players annually, ages 5 to 19.

To learn more about US Youth Soccer, log on to www. USYouthSoccer.org or, for more about the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series, log on to http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jun 6, 2008
Words:575
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