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!
Name: Vegas Cup sponsored by the LVSA
Overall Impressions: Viva Las Vegas! This is our fourth time attending this tournament. 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. I love this tournament!
Dates: January 2015 Martin Luther King Jr Holiday weekend
Cost: $795 U8-U10/ $995 U11 and above
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. 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.
Check In: Check in was the night before and went smoothly. This year they had pins- yay! If you’d like to buy a sweatshirt for your player, they are available at check in. I’d advise buying one as early as possible 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… or in our case the final had an overtime with a “golden goal” winner. Not so fun. It’s a three day tournament with the semis and finals on Monday.
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. This year in our age group some of the top teams were not in attendance because it was a CRL (California Regional League) weekend. This definitely had an impact on the level of competition, but it was still very high.
Fields: All our games were played on the beautiful Bettye Wilson soccer complex. The huge Vegas complexes with perfect grass 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. Check out the grass in the unedited photo below!
Referees: For our pool play games, we had excellent referees. For the final, we had the worst referee that I have ever seen. In the first half alone he must have called 20-30 fouls. The girls had a difficult time getting anything going when play kept stopping. It was beyond the point of ridiculous and was unfair to both teams.
Weather: It was beautiful and sunny during the day, but got very cold at night. You can see the picture below of BSG and me bundled up on the sideline. Well…it was 53 degrees, but that’s cold for us! The sunsets were amazing as you can see below as well.
Hotels/Restaurants/Attractions: It’s Vegas Baby!! This is the true draw of the tournament and we had a great time. 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 on the strip for the first time at the beautiful Delano hotel in Mandalay Bay. I had always been hesitant to stay on the strip (in the past we stayed in Summerlin by the fields) because well… there are things I don’t really want my kids to see and hear. But, the Delano ended up being a perfect place to stay! They have an entrance from the parking lot where you don’t have to walk through a casino as well as access to several restaurants. We took the tram to go ride the roller coaster at New York, New York and had a fun time. Our room was very, very nice with two bathrooms and a separate living room- all for a reasonable price. Can you tell I liked it?? The only thing that was a bit of a bummer is that it’s a 20-30 minute drive to the fields.
One fun thing that one of our moms did for this tournament was make very cute goodie bags for all the girls. They were spoiled with fun things like candy, lip gloss and a frame. It was nice to be able to stick their tournament pins and bracelets in there as well.
Only LSG played this year as most of BSG’s team is in High School. I wanted to make the trip special for her as well, so she got to see the Cirque du Soleil show “O” which she loved.
Overall we had a great time and I’m excited to go back next year!