Over the summer (and winter!) 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! This is a pretty belated review, so I can’t remember some things…
Name: Vegas Cup sponsored by the LVSA
Overall Impressions: Viva Las Vegas! Obviously the location is a huge draw for this tournament and even though I’m not a gambler, there are lots of fun things to do in Vegas. Aside from the location draw, the fields are gorgeous and it’s a great getaway for the family as well as good prep after coming back from the Winter Break. I love this tournament!
Dates: January 2013 Martin Luther King Jr Holiday weekend
Cost: not on their site anymore…but it wasn’t a cheap tourney!
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada (about a 5 hour drive from Los Angeles)
Application Process/Organization/Coaching Conflicts: The application process was organized and easy and coaching conflicts were minimized. The only difficulty was in making sure we got the hotel booking of our choice.
Check In: Check in the day of at the field was great. It was a bit difficult to find the right location, but I think that was because we had an early game and they weren’t completely set up yet. No pins (kind of a bummer) but plastic bracelets instead. I never understand why they hand those out because the players can’t wear them on the field. If you’d like to buy a sweatshirt for your player, make sure you do it the first day as they run out quickly.
Rules: 10 Point System. Quarter Finals resulted in PKs if tied and Semis and Finals had extra time then PKs if tied. It’s a three day tournament with the semis and finals on Monday.
Number of Teams at our Age Level: U10- 30 teams, three flights; U12- 64 teams, four flights
Strength of Competition: This is a premier (and huge!) tournament attended by many top teams as well as teams of all abilities. The number flights made for appropriate competition for all. There were teams from California, Utah, Texas and Colorado in attendance as well as some from even farther away. It was fun to meet all sorts of different people.
Fields: All our games were played on the giant and beautiful Bettye Wilson and Kellogg Zaher soccer complexes. These huge complexes make me so jealous! We don’t have anything of this caliber near us and the view is gorgeous as well. There are other smaller fields used as well, but we didn’t play on those.
Referees: I can’t really remember the referees, so it couldn’t have been that bad…right??
Weather:It was beautiful and sunny during the day, but got very cold at night. Little soccer girl asked to wear her Under Armor- a sure sign that it’s freezing.
Hotels/Restaurants/Attractions: It’s Vegas Baby!! This is the true draw of the tournament and we had a great time. One thing that’s very important is to reserve your hotel rooms early for your team. They have special pricing and sell out quickly. As a condition of playing in the tournament, teams are required to stay in certain hotels, but there is a wide variety of choices. Apply for the tourney early and reserve your rooms the day the email with the hotels comes out!
We stayed at the JW Marriott which is a beautiful hotel in Summerlin very close to the fields. There was plenty of room to roam for the girls and a Starbucks inside the hotel made for easy mornings. Unfortunately, their pool was closed for the winter, but the girls enjoyed the hot tub one night. I think next year we are going to try and stay at the Red Rock which has a million things to do, but is on the expensive side. It’s nice to stay in Summerlin so that you are out of most of the Vegas smoke and other stuff that is inappropriate for kids…
We did go to the strip one night and walked around and had a seriously overpriced dinner. After walking around the kids begged to go to Circus Circus. It’s pretty nasty in there, but the girls loved going on the rides and wanted to stay longer. Next time I think we’ll allow more time for that.
I didn’t have time to organize team meals this trip which was kind of a bummer. There are many, many restaurants around and it’s always fun to go as a team, but definitely takes some organizing. This was one area where we fell short and could have had a lot more team bonding.
Overall we had a great time and I’m excited to go back next year!