Over the summer (and winter!) we spend many weekends traveling 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!
Overall Impressions: This was a showcase rather than a tournament for U12s and U13 Jr ECNL teams (If you aren’t sure what ECNL is, please read my What is ECNL? post) and every team played four games. It was extremely well organized and was a great event! The complex was beautiful, games ran on time and everyone was very nice. This may sound kind of silly, but I loved the way they had the girls “walk out” before each game, shake hands and then wave to the parents. The pink benches were a fun nod to the all girls EGSL and ECNL leagues.
Dates: March 2015
Location: Sacramento, CA (It was our first time flying to a tournament! LSG was so excited to fly with her bestie) This is the second year of this event and last year it was in Southern California.
Application Process/Organization/Coaching Conflicts: The application process was organized and easy and coaching conflicts were minimized. This is a “stay and play” tournament and they definitely check up on where each team is staying. Booking as soon as possible gets you your first choice. The organizers definitely made an effort to make this an easy tournament for managers. After check in, nothing else was needed! No game cards to carry and sign- nothing to worry about. I’ve never been so relaxed at a tournament as a manager. It was much appreciated.
Check In: Check in was at the field one hour before the first game- yay!
Rules: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a tie and 0 for a loss. It didn’t really matter as it wasn’t a tournament, but it was fun to watch all the scores.
Strength of Competition: This event was only open to the Jr ECNL teams from Southern and Northern California. All games were North vs South so it was fun to play teams that we normally don’t get to play. Although the Southern California teams definitely came out on top, most of the games were very competitive.
Fields: The whole event was held at the Cherry Island Soccer Complex just outside Sacramento. The location was beautiful in a rural area surrounded by trees and fields. Although the fields looked amazing and lush, the grass was very thick and made passing a bit difficult. The ball didn’t always behave in the way the girls expected making for some scrambles. There were plenty of restrooms available as well as yummy food vendors. Lots of shady spots to sit made for a fun and relaxing day.
Referees: The referees seemed mostly fair and definitely let the girls play.
Weather: It was a very warm weekend- especially on Sunday.
Hotels/Restaurants/Attractions: We stayed in nearby Roseville at the Best Western Orchid Suites. It was very reasonably priced and fine for our needs, but there were a lot of people smoking on the grounds. The kids were not happy about that, but had a great time running around everywhere.
Some of our team was able to tour the Capital on Friday making the trip a bit education as well. Definitely a win-win!
Overall we had a great time! Last year this showcase was in Southern California, so I’m assuming it will be back in Orange County for next year.