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Countdown starts to "youth soccer event of the year"

By James Shaw, 01/27/23, 6:45AM MST


The countdown has begun to the 7 Elite Academy International Tournament, with thousands of players set to descend on Southern Utah and Nevada on February 2-4.

The prestigious event, which has been dubbed “the youth soccer event of the year”, will shine a global spotlight on Saint George, Washington and Mesquite.

Players, coaches and families from across the United States and beyond will take part in games at top-class venues in all three cities.

The event sets new standards for teams every year, with highly-qualified officials from out of state and even professional leagues in the United Kingdom.

Other innovations include a one-point penalty shootout after every group game to maintain a competitive focus

There will also be an opportunity to work with Liverpool FC coach Chris Owens, when he holds a Premier League Goalkeeper Masterclass during the tournament. 

Sessions will be held on all three days and cost $20 to enter. Click here to book:

Wayne Scholes, Chairman of 7 Elite Academy, is looking forward to the organization’s “best-ever” tournament when the action starts next week.

He said: “We have been running this tournament for six years and it has continued to expand every year, as word gets around about the quality of teams and organisation.

“We are actively looking to showcase the best youth soccer players in Utah and Nevada, so I am delighted that more teams are signing up every year.

“Our innovations are regularly incorporated by UYSA and other tournaments, both here in the Utah and further afield. This event is part of our continued push to raise standards.

“By creating an event of this size and stature, we are giving Saint George, Washington and Mesquite a unique opportunity to shine on the worldwide stage.

“These three cities have fantastic resources for all sports, including soccer, and I am confident this will be the best-ever 7 Elite Academy International Tournament.”

This year’s tournament is once again a record-breaking event, with over 350 teams signed up from Pre-Academy through to Under-19 level.

Facilities will include merchandise stores, food trucks, DJs and entertainment, as organisers look to stage an event that offers more than just soccer.

Games will be played at The Fields at Little Valley in Saint George, Sullivan Soccer Park in Washington and Mesquite Sports and Events Complex, as well as a hand-picked selection of other venues.

Nick Nield, Tournament Director, is proud of the event that will be unveiled to the public on February 2.

He said: “The quality of play on show is going to be better than ever, with some of the best teams in the region all signed up to take part.

“We have seen this tournament expand mainly because of word-of-mouth, with teams keen to challenge themselves against top-class opponents.

“Our staff have worked hard to create a tournament that people will enjoy for soccer, but also the all-day entertainment, shopping and food options on the main sites.

“This tournament will give the economies in Saint George, Washington and Mesquite a great boost. The benefits for hotels, shops and restaurants will be huge.

Click here for tournament information