Pacesetter tourney to draw 8,000Written by | |
Tournaments don’t evolve into must-play events overnight, but in just two short years, the Pacesetter Showcase Invitational Memorial Day Tournament has become the youth soccer event in the Midwest.
Scheduled for May 27 to 30 at Pacesetter Park in Sylvania, the field has not only grown in numbers (from 96 to at least 154 participating teams this year) but in quality.
The tournament welcomes nearly 2,400 youth players, ages 9 to 17, along with coaches, family members and, most importantly to the players, college coaches and scouts. With teams from Indiana, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan and the Canadian National Champions from London, Ontario, the tournament draws nearly 8,000 to Northwest Ohio, with an estimated economic impact of $1.25 million.
Local soccer clubs will be well represented, including the Pacesetter U-13 and U-14 boys teams, both of which recently won the Ohio North Youth Soccer Association State Cup Championships.
Even after one year, the tournament established itself as a must-play event, as gotsoccer.com rated it a silver level tournament. A main attraction for many of the teams, according to Tournament Director Alan Kreinbrink, is the fields.
“The fields speak for themselves,” Kreinbrink said. “Pacesetter Park is nationally recognized and we have never heard a bad word about the conditions.”
That is a sentiment echoed by gotsoccer.com poster John Rekenthaler, whose Chicago Wind boys U-11 team participated last year.
“Best facility I have ever seen,” Rekenthaler posted.
Pacesetter Park received the 1998 Sports Turf Managers Association Softball Field of the Year and the 1998 Ohio Sports Turf Managers Association Chapter Baseball & Soccer Field of the Year.
Games begin at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, with Monday featuring semi-finals and finals matches beginning at 8:30 a.m. Admission to the tournament is free.