Surf Cup President Mike Connerley To Be Honored at Halftime
The San Diego Sockers will honor longtime San Diego Surf Cup president Mike Connerley for his many years of distinguished service to the San Diego soccer scene during a halftime ceremony on Saturday, November 26th, when the SD Sockers host division rivals Revolución Tijuana. The game will kick off at 7:05 p.m. and can be heard live on ESPN Radio 1700-AM.
“Mike Connerley has meant so much to the soccer community and San Diego soccer for the past three decades,” said SD Sockers general manager John Kentera, “With the Surf College Cup taking place this weekend, what better time to honor Mike for his incredible work helping create a soccer hotbed in San Diego County?”
Kentera worked with Connerley years ago when the Surf Cup was just launching and recalls fondly those old days. Before the Surf Cup, according to Kentera, “Soccer families from the San Diego area traveled to Arizona for soccer competitions during Thanksgiving weekend.”
Why not hold a Thanksgiving Cup for youth soccer in San Diego?
|Is it a maintenance man? A Gardner? No, it is dedicated Tournament Director Mike Connerley working at the Polo Fields making sure everything is perfect for Surf College Cup 2011.|
“I first started volunteering and helping youth soccer at Leucadia Soccer Club when my son started to play soccer back in 1979. After my son graduated from youth soccer, I just stayed involved and continued to build the Surf cup tournaments,” said Connerley.
Connerley’s honor coincides with the running of the Surf College Cup presented by Nike, taking place November 25-27 at the San Diego Polo Club in Del Mar.
Over 400 college coaches and scouts will be present to watch the elite gathering of boys and girls U-16, U-17 and U-18. Surf Soccer Club’s Thanksgiving Cup is also held this weekend.
“Our main goal is to get the best teams in the United States to come to San Diego, provide a competition for the college coaches to identify key players and ultimately get youth players college scholarships,” said Connerley.
The Surf College Cup 2011 turned away more teams than it allowed in to participate in the prestigious youth soccer tournament.
“Surf Cup is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments on the West Coast and the economic impact is huge for San Diego, says Steve Schell, Vice President, San Diego Sports Commission. “During the soccer tournaments three weekends, the Surf Cup utilizes more hotel rooms than any other youth sporting event in San Diego.”
2010’s Surf Cup had a $22 million dollar impact in San Diego, a much more significant impact than other youth soccer tournaments.
In fact, the average soccer tournament in San Diego uses approximately 1,500 hotel rooms for out of town players coming to compete. The Surf Cup uses 22,000 hotel rooms. Last year, players traveling to San Diego spent $2.5 million dollars to sleep in our city.
“We wanted to create the Surf Cup as a place for college coaches to have to opportunity to see top players,” he said. “Over the years many of the kids who have played in Surf Cup have gotten college scholarships. I’m happy that it has been so successful, because that was always our goal.”
Mike Connerley has been the director of the San Diego Surf Cup since 1988 and the president of Surf Cup, Inc. since its inception in 1994.
Connerley’s work in San Diego youth soccer dates back to 1979 when he helped develop and was part of the board of directors for the Leucadia Lightning, now the Carlsbad Lightning.
Mike moved to the Surf Soccer Club when his son was recruited by the team, and became the club’s president from 1986 to 1991.
Connerley helped move the Surf Cup to the Polo Club starting in 1992, and since moving to a single-venue format the Surf Cup has blossomed into one of the top two youth soccer tournaments in the nation.
“Since we moved to the Polo Club in 1992, our number one goal has been to do it right or not do it at all,” said Connerley. This is a familair motto to everyone who works with the highly successful and top quality tournament.
For tickets to Saturday’s game against Revolución Tijuana, call (866) 799-GOAL or visit the Sockers’ website, www.sdsockers.com. For more information on the San Diego Surf College Cup visit www.surfcup.com.