7 Elite Academy will be aiming for regional glory this week with two teams set to battle it out at the UYSA Far West Cup Presidents' Cup in California.
7EA's Under-13 Girls and Under-15 Boys will take on the region's finest teams during the prestigious tournament at Silver Lake Sports Complex in Norco.
The competition comes just a year after the Academy's 01 Boys were crowned National Champions – an achievement this season's players will be aiming to emulate.
The action gets under way today (Tuesday), with the ultimate prize being a place in the first-round draw for next month's National Presidents' Cup in Tennessee.
Anthony Godfrey, Global Technical Director at 7 Elite Academy, is looking forward to an exciting tournament for the Utah youngsters.
He said: “It has been a long road for our players to get to this stage and I am incredibly proud that they are representing us at the Far West Presidents' Cup. It is a great achievement.
“Whatever happens from here, the coaches, parents and most importantly players should enjoy the experience and give a good account of themselves. That is all we ask of them.
“Every single young person who has played for 7 Elite Academy over the last year has put in effort over and above what is expected of them, both on and off the pitch.
“The players who have travelled to California fully deserve their place in the spotlight and I am confident they will do their very best to fulfil their undoubted potential.”
7EA's Under-13 Girls kick off their campaign on Tuesday against So Cal Blues-Sarabia, before further encounters later in the week against Real Colorado and Pacific FC.
The Under-15 Boys, meanwhile, face Milan Academy on Tuesday, ahead of games against Corning NCU and Cook Inlet on Wednesday and Thursday.
Wayne Scholes, Chief Executive of 7 Elite Academy, believes it is crucial that players expand their horizons and play outside of their own league system.
He said: “Our players have worked so hard to gain entry into the Far West Regionals and this is an opportunity for them to achieve something truly special.
“I am delighted for them as players, but also as young people who are embarking on a life experience that they will always remember. I wish them very good luck.
“As an Academy, it is our intention to give every youngster a chance to play in different locations, experience new styles of soccer and overall, develop as good human beings.
“Playing in major tournaments is just one of those experiences we are looking to provide for all our players.
“This is great opportunity for them to test themselves against teams from all over the Western United States.
“This stands our players in good stead for the future, especially in terms of planning for college recruiting.
“Playing against varied competition is important for their development and player profiles.”