Rapids to Host MLS U-17 Cup Starting This Friday

COMMERCE CITY CO (MLS Official Release) – Soccer United Marketing’s inaugural Youth Development soccer tournament SUM U-17 Cup kicks off on Friday July 13 at the soccer complex at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City Colo. and is being held in conjunction with the 2007 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game.
The tournament features 12 MLS U-17 Youth Development teams and will culminate in the championship game on the Dick’s Sporting Goods Park stadium field the morning of Thursday July 19 at 10 a.m. MT.

"The U-17 Cup gives elite young players the chance to play in a first class tournament with world-class facilities against their counterparts at other MLS U-17 Youth Development Teams" said MLS Deputy Commissioner Ivan Gazidis. "This is a very exciting first step for these new youth teams and the winners of the tournament will move on to an internationally-renowned youth tournament in Spain that will test them against some of the best young players in the world."

The 12-team pool is comprised of the U-17 teams of all MLS clubs excluding Toronto FC and the New England Revolution and with two teams representing the Colorado Rapids. The tournament format will feature three groups of four with the group winners and the best second place team advancing to the semi finals which take place on Tuesday July 17. The champion will take home the SUM U-17 Cup and earns the opportunity to participate in the 2008 Torneo Quixote in Spain.

Participating coaches will benefit from coaching seminars led by Major League Soccer official Alfonso Mondelo who serves as Technical Director of Player Programs. The tournament finalists will be invited to watch the MLS All-Stars training session at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park stadium field on Wednesday July 18 as they prepare to face Celtic FC in the 2007 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game. Additionally this tournament is being hosted at no cost to all participants as Soccer United Marketing and participating MLS Teams are covering the costs of player travel accommodations and other tournament-related expenses.

The preliminary SUM U-17 Cup schedule is as follows with the first three rounds and all semi-final matches to be held in the complex adjacent to Dicks Sporting Goods Park. The tournament final is scheduled to be played on the Colorado Rapids game field at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park the morning of the 2007 Sierra Mist MLS All-Star Game.

(All times local/Schedule and locations subject to change)

Date/Game Time Matchup

July 13 5:30pm - 7pm Match 1 - Colorado Rapids A v DC United

Match 2 - FC Dallas v New York Red Bulls

Match 3 - Chicago Fire v Houston Dynamo

July 13 7:30pm - 9pm Match 4 - Real Salt Lake v Columbus Crew

Match 5 - Chivas USA v Kansas City Wizards

Match 6 - Colorado Rapids B v Los Angeles Galaxy

July 14 5pm - 6:30pm Match 7 - D.C. United v Columbus Crew

Match 8 - New York Red Bulls v Kansas City Wizards

Match 9 - Colorado Rapids B v Chicago Fire

July 14 7pm - 8:30pm Match 10 - Colorado Rapids A v Real Salt Lake

Match 11 - FC Dallas v Chivas USA

Match 12 - Houston Dynamo v Los Angeles Galaxy

July 16 5pm - 6:30pm Match 13 - DC United v Real Salt Lake

Match 14 - New York Red Bulls v Chivas USA

Match 15 - Houston Dynamo v Colorado Rapids B

July 16 7pm - 8:30pm Match 16 - Colorado Rapids A v Columbus Crew

Match 17 - FC Dallas v Kansas City Wizards

Match 18 - Chicago Fire v Los Angeles Galaxy
Semifinals
July 17 7pm - 8:30pm Semi A: 1st Seed v 4th Seed

Semi B: 2nd Seed v 3rd Seed

Championship Game
July 19 10:00-11:30am Winner Semifinal A vs. Winner Semifinal B (Inside the stadium)
About the SUM U-17 Cup
As a part of the "Home Grown Initiative the SUM U-17 Cup will focus on player development while providing elite competition for those involved this year and every year thereafter. Offering its participants a great opportunity for dedicated elite soccer players to meet in a high-level playing environment the SUM U-17 Cup will be both challenging and rewarding for everyone involved.