Over the summer we spend most of our weekends traveling around Southern California attending soccer tournaments. As always, all opinions are my own and based on personal experience unless otherwise noted. If you have reviews of your own, please add in the comments!
Name: Blues Cup(So Cal Blues) Girls Only
Overall Impressions: This is my favorite tournament and I can’t wait to return next year! Although it’s on the expensive side, the strength of competition, the fields and the overall organization make this tourney well worth the money. I especially loved the pins and the medals…especially since Big Soccer Girl won one! (Even though it was a finalist medal and not a champion, it was still awesome!) This is a three day tournament with quarter-finals, semi-finals and championship games, so teams have the potential to play six games. Amy Rodriguez (A Rod from the Women’s National Team and USC) was there to hand out the medals! The girls were so excited to meet her and she was very sweet.
Dates:September 1/2/3, 2012 (Labor Day Weekend)
Cost:$700 U9/U10 $800 U11/U19
Location:San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Laguna Nigel
Application Process/Organization/Coaching Conflicts:This is the most organized and thoughtful tournament that I’ve ever been to. Every aspect was excellent and our game times were fantastic.
Check In:Two choices- Friday night or Saturday morning. Hooray! Although we had to be there a bit earlier than our game time required, check in was organized and easy. Check in with the field marshals before each game was required.
Rules: 10 Point System; 25 minute halves for U9/U10 and 30 minute halves for U11/U19. Quarter Finals resulted in PKs if tied and Semis and Finals had extra time then PKs if tied.
Number of Teams at our Age Level:36 teams, 2 tiers (It’s a big tournament!!)
Strength of Competition: This is a premier tournament attended by most of the top level teams. Many teams travel from out of state to attend and our age group had teams from Georgia and Nevada as well as teams from Northern California.
Fields:Games were played across San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente and Laguna Nigel, but our age group played at beautiful Rancho Capistrano “The Ranch” with the finals at Oaks Polo Field. I love seeing all teams of a single age group at one field. It’s fun to meet new friends and see girls on all different teams. The tournament volunteers did a great job of keeping things moving as well as clean! All of our games were on time. They even had golf cart shuttles to get to the further fields!
Referees: Overall they were better than usual, except for two exceptions. The ref of our first game kept calling off-side when our player was behind the defenders when the ball was kicked. We must have had at least 10 off side calls, some of which were valid, but most were not. Our opposition kept playing the off side trap and it was especially effective with this ref…lol. He also called over 10 free kicks on our team when there clearly seemed to be rough play on both sides. The referee for the final was very frustrating as he seemed reluctant to call THREE obvious hand balls in the box. He would look over and then seemed to make a “make up call” and give us a free kick for some minor infraction instead of calling the penalties in the box. Oh well, that shouldn’t have made the difference, but our girls just couldn’t seem to find the back of the net.
Weather: It was hot, but after playing in Escondido a couple of weeks ago, everything is relative. The temperature hovered around 85-90 degrees under very sunny skies.
Restaurants/Attractions: We chose not to stay for this tournament as it’s about an hour commute for us, but there are plenty of nice hotels in the area. San Juan Capistrano is a beautiful little town with the mission in the middle. The area around the mission is very scenic and there are numerous restaurants and shops. With a big group it can be hard to find places to eat, but we went to Ruby’s Diner (twice!) They have a great covered patio overlooking the town and it’s up on the second level so it gets a nice breeze.