New Youth Soccer Tournament Provides Return To Play Event in the Nation’s Capital
Respectful of the restrictions due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, this tournament designed to attract international elite youth soccer teams will be a more localized event celebrating playing in our nation’s capital.
August 7 – 9, 2020 – Return to Play in the Nation’s Capital
The DC Cup is a new youth soccer tournament kicking off this summer in the Washington DC area. Held from August 7 through August 9, the youth soccer tournament is a competition for U12 through U19 teams.
Justin Reid is one of the founders of the new event and the idea is to welcome youth soccer players back to Return To Play in the nation’s capital.
With area college coaches needing local events to attend to replace the loss of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy showcase and playoffs, as well as the travel restrictions and slashed collegiate budgets, there is real value in new, more localized youth soccer tournaments.
SoccerToday’s Interview with DC Cup’s Administrator Justin Reid
Diane Scavuzzo: When do you first kick off the DC Cup? What inspired you?
Justin Reid: This is a first-year tournament and we are really looking forward to its success. What inspired Glenn Goodwine, our Tournament Director, and I to launch was we saw a need to connect DC’s tourism industry to a summer youth soccer tournament.
The idea came about in 2018 when I found myself traveling internationally more frequently than in previous years for my everyday business of transportation logistics.
I had run youth soccer tournaments in the past for clubs as a way to use my passion for soccer to remain in the game. About 14 years ago, I founded QuickFeet Soccer for Kids, a Maryland, DC, Northern Virginia program for children as young as 2 years old, but I wanted to be a part of the sport at all ages and playing levels.
Our inspiration stems from our love for the city of Washington, D.C.
I grew up playing in the D.C. area at the age of 4 and played at the University of Delaware from 2000-2004. Glenn grew up in Atlanta but moved to D.C. to attend Howard University in the 1990s and has remained in the city since.
DC ranks among the top tourist cities in the country, and we felt that one thing that it was missing was an international youth soccer tournament.
Before COVID-19, our plan was for the tournament to be an international event this year, but due to the impact of the Coronavirus, we won’t have any international teams, but we have already received plenty of inquiries for next year from international clubs.
Diane Scavuzzo: How competitive is the event?
Justin Reid: With this being a 1st-year tournament, we understand the challenges of it not being recognized yet. It is always easier to choose Fall pre-season local tournaments that have been around for 30 plus years — and we also understand the challenges of COVID-19 which has magnified all uncertainties.
We are expecting 40 teams this 1st-year, with most being local but our main objective is to look to next year when we will increase the level of the tournament’s competition.
We will be welcoming high-level clubs from Europe, Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean.
We have already invested a lot in communications and branding to help us reach high-level clubs in those regions.
We operate as an all-year-around tournament and not one who advertises six months out, so we encourage competitive teams in the MD, DC, VA region to jump on board early as we foresee the D.C. Cup becoming a challenging tournament to be accepted into.
Unlike other tournaments, we will focus on the quality of teams and not the quantity.
Diane Scavuzzo: What do the champions receive?
Justin Reid: DC Cup champions will receive both Medals and a Cup.
The champions of the tournament will receive a cup and medals. While the champions will hold their earned trophy after their victory, it will stay with us at the tournament and be sent within four weeks to the head coach with the coaches and players’ names engraved.
Each champion player will also receive a customized medal with their name engraved.
Each age group will also have awards for player of the tournament, learning goal scorer, defender of the tournament, and goalkeeper of the tournament.
We have tossed the idea about the winning teams receiving all expenses paid trips to an international tournament held during spring break in March-April months, but we haven’t finalized which age groups will receive this prize as yet.
Diane Scavuzzo: Do you consider it a recruiting event for colleges? If so, please confirm if it is for both girls and boys.
Justin Reid: Yes, DC Cup is a recruiting event for college coaches as the youth tournament has U-17 – U-19 brackets for both boys and girls.
Diane Scavuzzo: Where area are you expecting the teams to come from?
Justin Reid: We are targeting elite youth soccer teams between New York to North Carolina, however, the tournament is open to all teams throughout the country but with the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, we understand that many teams will choose to wait until next year to travel to DC for this event.
As the event approaches, due to COVID-19, we have reserved our marketing efforts to just local clubs. Our “Return to Play” theme provides an exciting platform for D.C., Maryland, and Virginia based teams to come together in the nation’s capital and celebrate a return to the field.
Our location is great, the facilities are wonderful, and we are looking forward to watching youth soccer being played again.
Diane Scavuzzo: How many games does each team compete in for group play?
Justin Reid: Each team is guaranteed a minimum of three (3) games.
Diane Scavuzzo: How many teams do you expect for the inaugural competition?
Justin Reid: 40 youth soccer teams and since hopefully, by the time our tournament arrives, D.C. will have moved into Phase III allowing for larger gatherings.
Next year, our goal will be much higher.
Diane Scavuzzo: What safety protocols do you expect to have in place?
Justin Reid: The DC Cup will follow all the recommended safety guidelines to ensure everyone participating in the event. We will have temperature checks, sanitizing stations, and extra masks available.
We will follow all of the recommended safety guidelines set forth by the Center for Disease and Control (CDC). To date, we have purchased masks, thermometers, gloves, and all PPE products to ensure that everyone at the tournament is safe.
DC Cup will also have temperature checks and sanitizing stations.
Unless the guidelines change before the tournament, wearing masks will be recommended and we will not make it mandatory as we will be outdoors and temperatures will be in the 90s.
Diane Scavuzzo: As this is a first-year event, where are the game-day pictures from?
Justin Reid: We hosted a team from Barbados as well as met with the Ambassador of Barbados to the US and the images are from a match against Future Soccer Club.