United Soccer League Teams Up with Dallas Cup
USL clubs’ academy teams to enter prestigious tournament’s 2018 edition
TAMPA, Fla. – The United Soccer League, one of the most prominent Division II leagues in the world, announced on Tuesday a new agreement with internationally renowned youth competition the Dallas Cup that will see USL Academy teams enter the event in the 2018 season.
USL Academy teams from the Charleston Battery, OKC Energy FC, Orange County SC, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Rio Grande Valley FC, Saint Louis FC and San Antonio FC will all compete at the 2018 Dr Pepper Dallas Cup, with the 39th edition of the tournament set to be held between March 25 and April 1, 2018, in Frisco, Texas.
“We are delighted to establish this relationship with one of the most prestigious Academy events in the world,” said USL VP of Competition and Technical Development Gordon Bengtson. “Providing a platform for the top teams from professional USL academies to go head-to-head against elite competition from around the world is a tremendous step forward. Offering opportunities such as this on an annual basis provides crucial experience and important reference points for young, aspiring players as they compete to reach the professional ranks with their hometown USL clubs in the future.
“As a league, we are always looking for new approaches that will help grow local talent in our teams’ markets. Working alongside the Dallas Cup creates significantly more opportunity for those ideas to come to fruition in the immediate future.”
An invitation-only event, the Dallas Cup selects the best teams from hundreds of qualified applications the tournament receives each year. Although there have been several iterations over the years to the tournament’s format, the Dallas Cup is currently comprised of seven age groups from Under-13 through U-18, U-19 and the U-19 Gordon Jago Super Group. The tournament’s field attracts top teams from across the United States and the world each year, with teams from England, Japan, Mexico and the U.S. all claiming championships at the 2017 edition of the tournament.
The high level of competition will provide the seven USL clubs in attendance the chance to measure themselves against outstanding players and teams from across the U.S. and potentially the world, with the likes of Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, Wayne Rooney and Clint Dempsey all having previously competed at the event during their youth careers.
For more information on the 2018 Dr Pepper Dallas Cup, visit www.dallascup.com.
The USL is one of the most prominent Division II professional soccer leagues in the world, with 30 markets in 20 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces for the 2017 season. In total, the USL reaches a population of 75 million people, fueling the growth of professional soccer across North America.
In 2016, more than $100 million were invested league-wide into stadium infrastructure to create venues that deliver an unforgettable fan and competitor experience. The USL has national media partnerships with ESPN and SiriusXM, and recently invested $10 million to create USL Productions – which includes a state-of-the-art facility that will produce and distribute nearly 500 league matches and more than 1,000 hours of original content to national partners, local affiliates, USL’s Match Center and international markets.
A growing league, the USL has more than doubled in size since 2014, with Ottawa Fury FC, Reno 1868 FC and the Tampa Bay Rowdies debuting in 2017. Fresno FC, Las Vegas Lights FC, Nashville SC, North Carolina FC and a team owned and operated by Atlanta United of Major League Soccer are set to join the league for 2018, with Birmingham, Alabama, Austin, Texas and Memphis, Tennessee set to join the league in 2019. Beyond league play, the USL regularly features international exhibitions against leading Premier League, Liga MX, and Bundesliga clubs, among others.
Headquartered in Tampa, Fla., the USL provides unparalleled club support with a growing team of more than 50 professionals across 17 departments, ranging from operations to marketing, communications and sponsorship. Follow the USL at USLSoccer.com, the USL Match Center, and on social media via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
About Dr Pepper Dallas Cup
Dr Pepper Dallas Cup is the oldest and most prestigious international youth soccer tournament in the United States. Consisting of age groups from U13 to U19, Dallas Cup averages more than 100,000 spectators during tournament week. Since its inception in 1980, Dallas Cup has hosted teams and referees from across 47 states, six continents and more than 100 countries. Follow Dallas Cup on Twitter, Facebook and on Instagram.