U.S. Soccer Brings Showcase Event to San Diego

Development Academy moving its biggest spectacle to SD

Regardless of where you come down on the debate about whether or not San Diego loves soccer, nobody can deny this: soccer loves San Diego.

On Friday the United States Soccer Development Academy announced it has signed a multi-year contract to bring its showcase events to America’s Finest City. Starting in 2018 the Summer Showcase and Playoffs will be held at two spots in San Diego County. Both Surf Club Sports Park in Del Mar and SoCal Sports Complex in Oceanside will host games.

Those facilities are run by Surf Cup Sports, one of the largest and most successful soccer organizations in the nation.

“We’re trying to find clubs that can develop players that can go on to play professionally, play at the collegiate level, and go on to the National Team level ultimately for our Men’s and Women’s Senior National Teams,” said U.S. Soccer Development Academy Director Jared Micklos.

The Showcase runs from June 18-July 1 and it is not a small deal. More than 470 elite teams and nearly 10,000 players in various age groups playing in tournament-style competitions are expected participate.

"We chose San Diego for a simple reason: we want a world-class environment for our players," said Micklos. "Everything about San Diego fits our criteria, from the amazing soccer venue, the temperate climate, to the impressive soccer support in the region."

The San Diego Tourism Authority and San Diego Sports Alliance also had a hand in drawing the Showcase to San Diego.

 “This is wonderful news for all of us,” said Kerri Kapich, Chief Operating Officer of the San Diego Tourism Authority. “We are looking at 32,000 out-of-state visitors coming to San Diego in 2018 alone. This is really an essential part of what it is that we’re trying to do to grown the tourism economy for San Diego.”

With soccer’s global appeal the Tourism Authority is hoping many of those visitors will come from outside the United States.

The U.S. Soccer Development Academy was established in 2007 and in just a decade it has sent 24 players on to the Senior National Team, including San Diego products Paul Arriola and Joe Corona who recently helped the U.S.A. win the Gold Cup.

While U.S. Soccer does work closely with Major League Soccer it is unknown if awarding this major event to San Diego will have any impact on the MLS decision on which markets will receive an expansion team and if it helps San Diego’s cause at all.

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