The United Soccer Leagues (USL) have selected IMG Academy to host their Super-20 and Super-Y League North American Finals for the next three years. The 2012 Super-20 League North American Finals will take place July 19-22, and the 2012 Super-Y League North American Finals is slated for December 7-11. This year, thirty division-winning U20 teams will convene at IMG to battle for the Super-20 national title, while 150 U12 to U17 teams will qualify from their respective regions and compete for national titles in the Super-Y event. The event announcements come on the heels of a busy first quarter for IMG Academy, which included hosting a myriad of professional soccer team training camps for clubs like the Seattle Sounders, D.C. United, Columbus Crew, Sweden’s Malmö FF, and, most recently, the U.S. Women’s National Team preparing for the London Olympic Games.
“We couldn’t be more excited to host two of amateur soccer’s most-acclaimed events – the USL Super-Y and Super-20 League North American Finals – here at IMG,” said Scott Dean, director of IMG’s soccer program. “We look forward to working with the USL, the largest and most respected organization of amateur soccer leagues in North America, to host these and many more events in the future. We are also looking forward to attracting thousands of talented players, coaches and families from across the country to our local community.”
With 150 teams competing, the total daily attendance for December’s Super-Y Championships is expected to exceed 15,000, and fill more than 7,000 hotel rooms in Manatee and Sarasota Counties.
Earlier this year, IMG hosted the USL Super-Y League Olympic Development Program National Camps for boys and girls, as well as the USL PRO Combine.
“As two of the premier competitions on the youth soccer calendar each and every year, the Super 20-League and Super-Y League North American Finals will take another major step forward by offering teams the world-class resources and facilities at IMG Academy,” USL President Tim Holt said. “By joining such an experienced and internationally-respected sports organization, USL will be able to provide a comprehensive event experience for players, coaches, referees, college scouts, and fans on par with the best in the country.”
Continued Holt: “Relocation of these two showcase events to IMG is just one of the numerous youth development and competition initiatives USL will be launching in the months ahead to redefine the pathway for elite players and coaches.”
Founded in 1999, the Super Y-League is dedicated to the progression of future professionals and is the premier league for 12-17-year-old players. Affiliated with U.S. Soccer, the Super Y-League ODP Program has opened countless doors for players to be identified for U.S. National Team Programs. The Super Y-League contains the youth academies of Major League Soccer clubs, USL PRO clubs, the Premier Development League and W-League clubs. The league also serves clubs looking to develop the game from the ground up. The USL Super-20 League is the elder counterpart, featuring the nation’s best players ages 17-20.