The 4th Annual Nexen Manchester City Cup in San Diego
The annual Nexen Manchester City Cup hosted by Surf Cup Sports welcomes more international teams than ever before, along with top MLS DA teams and elite youth soccer club teams — the immersion in a real youth soccer culture with great competition intensifies every year.
Related Article: San Diego Surf SC Scores Big at Man City Cup
Youth Soccer News: The 2018 edition of the 2018 Nexen Manchester City Cup on Memorial Day weekend at the SoCal Sports Complex in Oceanside and Surf Cup Sports Park in Del Mar kicks off in a few weeks.
The 3rd annual Manchester City Cup was a huge success, attracting over 25,000 soccer fans to watch great youth soccer action and a blow out televised Super Group final that attracted more viewers than several MLS games.
The tournament, which has steadily grown over the past four years, has already received hundreds of applications and is looking for the best competition, selecting only the top teams to participate. Last year, the tournament turned away nearly 40% of applicants.
In 2017, the event welcomed teams, spectators and scouts from across the country and abroad, including academy teams from England and Mexico. This year, the number of international teams has increased significantly with the 2004 Super Group doubling in size.
This year, the B2004 International and Academy Super Group will include Manchester City, Xolos Academy, Girona FC, Chivas de Guadalajara, Club America, NYCFC, Real Salt Lake, Seattle Sounders, San Jose Earthquakes, LAFC, LA Galaxy, Strikers FC, Arsenal FC, Real So Cal, Crossfire Premier and San Diego Surf.
In fact, several MLS Academies and international teams are bringing two or more youth soccer teams to compete in the Nexen Man City Cup.
Hosted by Surf Cup Sports, the professionally organized tournament is raising the bar on youth soccer events around the country.
WHO WILL EMERGE TO TAKE THE TITLE THIS YEAR FROM THIS IMPRESSIVE LIST OF CLUBS?
The highly competitive international SuperGroup included academy teams from Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspurs, Club América, LA Galaxy, Seattle Sounders, San Jose Earthquakes, Houston Texans, Crossfire Premier, Pateadores SC, FC Golden State, San Diego Surf and the 2017 defending champions Xolos Academy — who earned the title of Champions again this year.
The Manchester City Cup also features a youth soccer coaching workshop with Manchester City Academy Director Jason Wilcox with both an on-field and workshop session.
Former Blackburn winger, 47-year-old Wilcox won the Premier League title with Blackburn in 1995. The goal and responsibility of the Manchester City Academy is to produce homegrown stars. With a state-of-the-art complex and an impressive winning ratio, Wilcox believes that the real focus on developing players needs to be on the individual.
“You don’t learn when you’re winning 80 or 90 percent of your games,” said Wilcox.
Wilcox will share his insights on the ever-changing youth soccer game, developing players who want to win and can become professionals as well as the coaching philosophies of this storied English club.
GoalNation’s Editor Diane Scavuzzo interviewed Nexen Man City Cup Tournament Director Michelle Romero on the upcoming 2018 event.
Diane Scavuzzo: What makes a good youth soccer tournament?
Michelle Romero: Too many tournaments make it seem like the event is the World Cup or a college registration. They aren’t. They are youth soccer tournaments. Successful tournaments do not have to be as complicated as many organizers make them out to be. I recommend to simplify the process.
What is important? Quality fields that are clearly marked, desirable location, easy check-in, and, of course, great competition. It’s a very simple recipe for success.
I believe it is important to make it easy for the youth soccer managers who do all the work and make it enjoyable for everyone who attends — this is what makes people come back.
Diane Scavuzzo: How is the Nexen Manchester City Cup raising the bar in youth soccer tournaments in the USA?
Michelle Romero: MCFC demands a superior product which is what Surf Cup Sports always provides and delivers on. The Nexen Man City Cup strives to be the best of the best international youth soccer tournament — from the branding at the venues and the field set-up, to the giveaways from Manchester City FC and their presence at the event — to televising the SuperGroup games and the quality of the competition, attention is paid to every detail.
The event has certainly raised the bar. But every year it has to get better. We have to always offer more — no one at MCFC or SCS is complacent in thinking that one successful event means just wash and repeat the same event. This year, we have really focused on bringing more high-quality teams.
Diane Scavuzzo: What Super Group matches will be televised by Univision Deportes?
Michelle Romero: Univision Deportes will televise selected matches of the 2004 Super Group as well as the Final. The schedule is not set yet but once it is announced, the information will be available on the Man City Cup website.
Diane Scavuzzo: What makes the Super Group different? How are the teams selected?
Michelle Romero: MCFC selects the International teams, Surf Cup Sports works with the DA teams and all teams are approved by MCFC.
Diane Scavuzzo: This is the 4th year for the tournament — In 2017, 422 youth soccer teams were accepted. How many total teams do you expect to participate this year?
Michelle Romero: 422 is the maximum amount of teams we can accept based on the venues we use so we will accept the same number of teams this year.
So far, we have seen about a 30% uptick in applications from this time last year and registration closes on April 28th. Most teams are not notified of acceptance until after the deadline because we want to make sure to accept teams that will provide the highest level of competition for the event.
Diane Scavuzzo: Where will the teams player?
Michelle Romero: The Youngers, both Boys and Girls 2005 and younger, play at Surf Cup Sports Park in Del Mar and the Older teams, 2004 and older as well as all DA SuperGroups play at SoCal Sports Complex in Oceanside.
Diane Scavuzzo: Do you follow U.S. Soccer Development Academy (DA) substitution rules or are substitutions unlimited?
Michelle Romero: In order for U.S. Soccer to approve the format of the event, we agree to play by the rules in the DA divisions.
Diane Scavuzzo: The Nexen Man City Cup is a qualifier for Surf Cup — what does this mean?
Michelle Romero: The event is a Summer Surf Cup qualifier, a major College Showcase event in the USA.
In all age groups, the Nexen Man City Cup Champion and the Finalist from the top flight, as well as the Champion from the second flight, are all eligible to participate in Summer Surf Cup.
This allows for teams to compete for their way into Surf Cup through the Nexen Man City Cup, which is a high-level event that rewards the top teams with eligibility. It’s a great way for teams to prove themselves as being the ‘Best of the Best’ which is the Surf Cup standard.
The Manchester City Cup is not a college showcase event although we do have college coaches attending, many more come to scout and identify players at Surf Cup.