Extreme Cup soccer tournament returning to town next week | ParkRecord.com

Extreme Cup soccer tournament returning to town next week

Christopher Kamrani, The Park Record

As it prepares to welcome 281 soccer teams this year, the eighth annual Park City Extreme Cup, put on by the Park City Soccer Club, is still looking to establish a strong local identity.

Often overshadowed by the Triple Crown fastpitch softball tournament, this year event organizers purposely scheduled the Extreme Cup to take place Aug. 4-6, the same weekend of the Park City Kimball Arts Festival.

"I think this is a huge accomplishment for our community of soccer," said first-year tournament director Shelley Gillwald.

Gillwald, who used to run the Youth Winter Sports Alliance, said the Extreme Cup is the most highly-regarded youth soccer tournament in Utah. According to a release, it is also the largest club-sponsored tournament in the Intermountain West.

Gillwald said this year event coordinators turned away close to 100 teams who sought inclusion in the Extreme Cup. She said teams from all over Utah are slated to attend, as well as out-of-state teams from Southern California, Nevada and Colorado.

She added that there are 39 different brackets for teams expected to participate. For boys, there will be club teams ranging from U9 to U18, while girls will feature U9 to U14 since the high school girls’ soccer season begins in a couple weeks.

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Within these age groups, there are three levels of play: gold, silver and bronze. Teams are divided into brackets based on their level of ability and play.

"Our tournament allows a broad level of play," Gillwald said.

Gillwald said the tournament, the brainchild of local soccer guru Richie Breza, is a fundraiser for local soccer clubs. She said this tournament raises roughly $35,000 worth of scholarship funds for Park City club soccer teams.

"The vision was that it’d be our major annual fundraiser," she said of the tournament’s history. "That was the original goal, which we’ve been very successful at. As the tournament has grown to be the biggest and the most highly-regarded tournament in the state, our goal has become two-fold. Yes, we want to raise scholarships funds to play, but also, to really showcase Park City."

Gillwald said games are held all over Park City and at the Oakley Sports and Rodeo Complex. This will be the Extreme Cup’s third year in Oakley. When the tournament grew to over 200 teams, Gillwald said, the tournament needed to expand.

"We’re really proud of our venues and community and the level of soccer we’re able to offer," she said. "The top tournament of the state has become an objective in and of itself. We clearly have the best fields in the state, and the best parks crews that make them happen."

The Park City Soccer Club will enter 14 teams next weekend. There will be other local teams participating such as a U9 Black Diamond boys’ squad and multiple teams from Heber.

The tourney will feature a pool-play style with matches to be played Thursday and Friday, with semifinal and final matches scheduled for Saturday.

"We’re expecting three incredible days of highly-competitive and great soccer," she said.

For more information on the Park City Extreme Cup tournament, visit http://www.parkcityextremecup.com .