USSA U-23 Region III National Cup
Friday: Atlanta Silverbacks vs. Winston Salem (NC), 7 p.m., Field 2; Railhawks (NC) vs. Little Rock FC (AR), 7 p.m., Stadium Field
Saturday: Railhawks vs. Futsoc USA (Fla.), 10 a.m., Field 2; Atlanta Silverbacks vs. Louisiana FC, 10 a.m., Stadium Field; Little Rock FC vs. Futsoc USA, 7 p.m., Field 2; Winston Salem vs. Louisiana FC, 7 p.m., Stadium Field
Sunday: Championship game, TBD, Stadium Field
The Allen Creek Soccer Complex has hosted numerous tournaments throughout its history, but few are as prestigious and important as this weekend's United States Adult Soccer Association's Under-23 Region III National Cup Championships.
Six teams, including the reserve team from the Atlanta Silverbacks, are participating in the tournament, with the winner advancing to the final four national championship games.
"The quality of soccer should be excellent," said Mike Little, the complex's manager. "Most of these guys are collegiate players from high-level programs."
Five of the six teams in the tournament are from out of state, and according to Region III National Commissioner Kim Bowen, that aspect of the event should benefit not only Allen Creek, but surrounding businesses as well.
"I look forward to bringing the beautiful game of soccer to the welcoming and inviting environment offered by the Allen Creek Soccer Complex and the surrounding community," Bowen stated in a press release. "This will have an economic impact on the community."
The three-day tournament begins today, and there is just a $3 parking fee for those who wish to attend. Although the complex houses numerous fields, only two will be used for this event: Field 2 and the Stadium Field.
"There will be two games going at a time, and from the right seat, fans can see both games from the Stadium Field," Little said. "I am so pleased that Allen Creek and the Hall County area has been afforded this opportunity to host another significant event."
Formerly known as the Men's Open Cup, the National Cup's competition began in 1914 and has become the oldest and most prestigious soccer tournament in the United States.
Each year, hundreds of teams across the country participate in the competition with eight teams becoming national champions in the Men's Open Cup, Men's Amateur Cup, Men's Over-30 Cup, Men's Under-23 Cup, Women's Cup and Women's Under-23 Cup.
"As our numbers continue to increase, the level of play also increases," Bowen said. "This makes for better games on the field and encourages spectators to attend these smaller events."
The winner of this weekend's tournament will travel to Bowling Green, Ky., from July 15-17 to participate in the USASA National Championships.