More than 10,000 players and visitors are expected for the United States Youth Soccer Midwest Regional Championships Friday through Wednesday, June 25-30, at Rockfords Sportscore I and II.
The economic impact on the area should be around $1.6 million, said the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. The event was held here twice beforein 1994 and 1997.
Opening ceremonies will be Friday from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the MetroCentre, 300 Elm St. The 4,200 soccer players, ages 13-17, on 204 boys and girls teams from 13 Midwestern states will be involved in the ceremonies.
Country music star Craig Morgan will sing the National Anthem before performing at Davis Park that evening.
The matches will start Saturday. Game times Saturday, Sunday and Monday will be 8 and 10 a.m., noon and 2 and 4 p.m. Sportscore I (100 Elmwood Rd.) will have matches for 17-19-year-olds, Sportscore II (8800 E. Riverside Blvd.) for 13-16-year-olds.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, June 29-30, all action will shift to Sportscore II, with games starting at 8 a.m. Final games will be Wednesday for regional crowns in the Under-13 through Under-19 age groups, with champions in U-14 through U-19 advancing to the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex July 20-25 for the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships.
The Rockford Raptors U-14 boys team earned a tourney spot, and the host Illinois Youth Soccer Association will have at least 14 teams in the event.
Local volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks. To volunteer, contact Kristin Muehlfelder, RACVB group services specialist, at (815) 489-1672 or firstname.lastname@example.org.