Washington City Mayor Kress Staheli has reaffirmed his support for the 7 Elite Academy International Tournament, after a record number of youth soccer teams took part.
The competition attracted thousands of players, coaches and officials from across the world to the region last weekend, bringing a boost the local economy in Washington.
Staheli visited the tournament to learn more about 7 Elite Academy’s International coaching and education programs, including teams in the United States, United Kingdom and Africa.
And he was impressed by what he saw during tournament games at Sullivan Virgin River Soccer Park: “I just don’t think it gets any better than this.
“Years ago when we started thinking about the best use of this property, we had the idea of soccer fields and I don’t think we imagined we could have had such a great partnership with 7 Elite and so many great teams and support, so we’re just thrilled.
“We love that we have a regional and international presence now. For a long time we weren’t even on the map, now we’ve been discovered and we absolutely welcome teams from all across America and all across the globe into our little corner of the world and we’re excited to host this tournament.”
The Washington Mayor also took the opportunity to meet a special guest at the tournament - former Liverpool F.C. and England star Stephen Warnock, who is a Global Ambassador for 7 Elite Academy.
He added: “In my wildest dreams I never thought I would meet a player like that who has played for Liverpool and the English national team right here in Washington, that’s pretty special to meet a player like that. But what I was most impressed with was just his character and how down to earth he is.
“I couldn’t think of a better ambassador for your program. I am going to try to get him on some of these hikes to experience some of the red rock and lava rock, and some of the neat things we have here locally.”