TERRE HAUTE —
The Vigo County Youth Soccer Association will welcome more than 7,000 people to its Springhill Drive facility through two tournaments in the next five weeks.
The fourth annual Midwest Soccer Classic is this weekend, but the VCYSA earned a chance to be one of five host sites for the Indiana Soccer Cup Games on May 18-19.
VCYSA tournament director Jim Wilkey said earlier this week that bringing top youth teams into the city from all around the Midwest for the Midwest Soccer Classic has helped the local non-profit show its ability to put on a great tournament.
“Every year it’s gotten bigger and bigger,” said Wilkey, who will direct each tournament and welcome about 1,400 participants in each one in addition to all the spectators who will visit Terre Haute.
The Springhill Soccer Complex is a 50-acre site on which the VCYSA can utilize 12 fields at a time.
Dave Patterson, executive director of the Terre Haute Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, has been a helpful partner of the event. He’s glad to see the work pay off with landing an Indiana Soccer event that is a part of the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship Series.
“It was because of the good job they’ve done through these four years [with the Midwest Soccer Classic],” Patterson said. “Whoever’s been involved has been incredible. Not only have you seen this place evolve into a great venue, the volunteer base is good and so 3 to 4,000 people coming in twice, that’s a huge feeder for the hotels and has a huge economic impact on the community.”
The Indiana Soccer Cup Games will be May 18-19. The top-ranked teams or age groups U13 to U19 are selected to participate in the Indiana State Cup. The champions will advance to the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championship Series Region II event.
Other competition levels of the Indiana Soccer Cup games are the Presidents Cup, Challenge Cup and Hoosier Cup levels.
Teams from the VCYSA will be participating in these tournaments and the Midwest Soccer Classic this weekend.
The VCYSA includes players from under 6 to 19 years old that play recreationally and in travel teams in the spring and fall. Anywhere from 800 to 1,000 Vigo County youth are involved throughout the year.
“The success we’ve had here is thanks in large part to the community of volunteers that have supported us,” Wilkey said. “The Convention and Visitor’s Bureau have been big supporters since the inception of our tournament. We’ve got the support of the Holiday Inn and the Springhill Suites as our sponsor hotels for our tournament and for the Cup Games. We’ve got a lot of support from the colleges, the community and that’s what’s made it all possible.”