I thought 2016 would be our last at the MLK Jr weekend Vegas Cup, but I was wrong! We were back for our fifth in a row and I’m pretty sure our last… but you never know 🙂
Name: Vegas Cup Tournament sponsored by the LVSA
Overall Impressions: Viva Las Vegas! Aside from the obvious fun things to do in Vegas, 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. This year it was just LSG and me taking on Vegas together.
Dates: January 2017 Martin Luther King Jr Holiday weekend
Cost: $795 U8-U10/ $995 U11 and above (this was 2016- not sure what it was this year)
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada (about a 4 hour drive from Los Angeles)
Application Process/Organization/Coaching Conflicts: The application process was organized and easy and coaching conflicts were minimized. If you plan to attend this tourney, register early and book hotels the day the email goes out. 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. Last year I know the hotel process was totally mismanaged, but this year I wasn’t involved so I’m not sure how it went. Our club had a block at Red Rock which was awesome.
There seemed to be a lot of mixups posting scores and the scores from the finals weren’t posted until 3 days later. Not sure what was happening there, but it was odd.
Check In: I didn’t do the check in so I’m not sure how it went, but I didn’t hear anything negative. This year they had pins again- yay! If you’d like to buy a sweatshirt for your player, definitely plan on buying one as soon as possible. They are available at the Friday check in at Bettye Wilson- worth the trip.
Rules: 10 Point System. Quarter Finals resulted in PKs if tied and Semis and Finals had extra time then PKs if tied… or in some cases the final has an overtime with a “golden goal” winner. It’s a three day tournament with the semis and finals on Monday.
Strength of Competition: This is a huge tournament attended by many teams of all different levels. The number of flights makes for (mostly) appropriate competition for all. There were teams from California, Utah, Texas and Colorado in attendance as well as some from even farther away. It’s always fun to meet all sorts of different people and play teams that you don’t usually play. (Although we played a team that we could have played very locally as well)
Fields: All our games were played at the beautiful Bettye Wilson soccer complexe. The huge Vegas complexes with still have perfect grass…and make me wonder how they have water for them! 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. In years past there were numerous cool “Vegas Cup” signs out on the fields, but this year I didn’t see any. I’m not sure if it was too windy or if they just skipped those this year.
Referees: Well… they were referees. They did seem very partial in our game against the Las Vegas team, but who knows. There’s always two sides to every story.
Weather: It was freezing for the Saturday games!! So Cal has had some pretty extreme weather lately and I guess Nevada as well. The snow was very low elevation (you can see it in the pictures) and the wind was SO COLD during the day on Saturday. I’m sure some of the teams that came from cold weather states were laughing at us, but we were COLD! In years past we’ve had varied weather, but never this cold.
Hotels/Restaurants/Attractions: The coaches always say that Vegas is for the parents and it’s definitely true. As I mentioned earlier, 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!
This year we stayed at Red Rock in Summerlin which I thought was perfect. It is much closer to the fields and has many food options including a food court with some of LSG’s favorites. That was so helpful compared to staying previous years at the Delano on the strip where eating was an expensive and time consuming affair. They also have a movie theater, arcade and bowling alley in the hotel which is great for kids. It’s a drawback that it’s not on the strip, but I’ll take the convenience any time. You can see the Red Rock view in the picture collage near the top of this post.
We had a great time (as usual) and enjoyed our weekend in Vegas with the awesome families on our team. It was a bit of a bummer that the whole family wasn’t together, but we still had a lot of fun. I read on the forum that some people didn’t have the greatest experience this year, but overall I’m happy we went. We will be back in March for the Vegas Players Showcase for BSG.