August 21, 2016
3:00 PM - 8:30 PM
at Scheels USA Youth Complex
At Lawrence Game
Wednesday October 21, 2015
This article was posted in the Post Crescent on Jan. 18.
The Fox Cities’ identity as a soccer community received another boost Friday with the announcement of a major youth tournament coming to the area in summer 2015.
The Appleton Soccer Club and De Pere Select Soccer Club are partnering to host the Midwest Region Championship, a tournament expected to draw 14,000 visitors and pour millions of dollars into the local economy. It will mark the third time the tournament has been held in the Appleton area.
“We have a very well-entrenched and well-established soccer community,” said Peter Mariahazy, president of the Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association and a Town of Menasha resident.
More than 200 boys and girls teams from 13 Midwest states will converge on the Fox Cities on June 19-24 in 2015. The tournament will be held at the 15-field USA Youth Sports Complex in Appleton and the seven soccer fields at Southwest Park in De Pere. Opening ceremonies will be held at Lambeau Field.
Appleton and De Pere previously hosted the tournament in 2011, and the competition was held in Appleton and Neenah in 2006.
The U.S. Youth Soccer Region II Championship Committee picked the Fox Cities for the 2015 games over other Midwest sites in Indiana and South Dakota.
Mariahazy said the Fox Cities is an attractive choice for the tournament for three reasons: a solid volunteer base, a welcoming community of people and a strong soccer culture.
Michael Monson, chairman of the local committee charged with organizing the future tournament, concurred the community’s friendliness caught the attention of visitors from the previous two events. He also said the fields at Appleton’s sports complex are among the best in the Midwest.
“Between the people and the facilities, we’re almost a shoo-in,” Monson said.
The local economy is expected to benefit from the influx of visitors during the five-day tournament.