On the heels of the FIFA World Cup, nearly 200 elite youth soccer teams from around the world, including the Haitian National Women’s Under 17 team, will compete in the Disney Cup International Youth Soccer Tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort, July 12-17.
Clubs featuring boys and girls (ages 9-17) from countries such as Brazil, Great Britain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Malaysia, the United States and others will be joining the Haitian team in creating the largest field in the tournament’s 12-year history.
More than half of this year’s field comes from outside of the continental United States with Puerto Rico leading the international team count with 18 registered clubs. Canada is next (16), followed by Brazil (11). In all, 18 countries are represented.
“This year’s field is one of the most diverse and largest we’ve had in our tournament’s history,” said the event’s tournament director Mark Luster. “The Disney Cup continues to be a great opportunity for teams from around the world to compete against other top young athletes while also getting to relax and enjoy a vacation at Disney.”
Each team will play at least four games before advancing to a single-elimination tournament format. Championship games in various age divisions from under-9 through under-18 take place July 17.
Since 1999, the tournament has attracted teams from more than 20 countries giving participants a unique opportunity to compete on the same fields as teams from the English Premier League and Major League Soccer. For instance, Celtic Football Club, Blackburn Football Club, the MLS Chicago Fire, Houston Dynamo, New York Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake have all competed or trained at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
About ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which hosts more than 300 events a year, is the leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports in the United States, accommodating 60 different sports and athletes from more than 70 countries. Designed to take youth sports to the next level, the 220-acre facility features: The Fieldhouse, a 165,000-square-foot fieldhouse which seats 5,500 for basketball; Champion Stadium ballpark (cap. 11,500); Hess Sports Fields, which include multiple baseball, softball and soccer fields; Jostens Center, an 80,000-square-foot multi-sport fieldhouse; and the Innovation Lab, a real-world testing ground for the ESPN Emerging Technology group to develop ground-breaking on-air products like Ball Track and ESPN Snap Zoom. In addition, the complex features 56 high-definition cameras (42 robotic, 10 handheld and four studio) and 40 high-definition video screens, including three jumbo screens, that can capture and display footage from any event taking place at the complex. The camera and video screens, as well as a 20-zone audio system, are controlled through the state-of-the-art Production Center that features eight edit bays and links to ESPN facilities in Bristol, Conn., New York and Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.wdwnews.com for press releases, photos and videos. Follow us on Twitter at @DisneySports.
About Haitian National Women’s U-17 Team
When an earthquake caused massive destruction to Haiti, the Under 17 Haitian Girl’s National Soccer team was faced with devastation and many only had their teammates and soccer to turn to. The team decided to play through the tragedy and attempt to qualify for the U17 World Cup. When the team fell short after losing two qualifier games in Costa Rica, the team returned home to Haiti not knowing what the future would hold or if the players would ever play soccer together again. They have been reunited for the Disney International Cup.