Over the weeks leading up to the 2013 NPL Champions Cup, we will be examining all aspects of the tournament through a multi-part Web series each Thursday. Part I took a look back at the inaugural event last year, Part II featured the host venue of Aurora Sports Park, Part III broke down the qualifying process, and Part IV detailed what’s new for this year.
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With hundreds of elite teams, thousands of players and many more fans coming in from across the country, July 18-22 will be a very busy weekend for soccer in suburban Denver.
That’s when the 2013 NPL Champions Cup and National Cup XII Finals will be held side by side in Aurora, Colo., featuring champions from the National Premier Leagues, National Cup XII Regional events and qualifying state championship competitions.
When all that talent converges on Aurora Sports Park, it will signal one of the premier weekends for youth soccer, as teams vie for national glory and players seize chances to play in front of scouts and college coaches.
The NPL Champions Cup, US Club Soccer’s league-based national championship competition, will welcome U-13 through U-18 boys and girls teams who qualified by winning titles in one of the 17 NPLs. Meanwhile, the National Cup XII Finals will include U-11 through U-18/19 teams that advanced through one of the seven Regionals or a qualifying state championship.
So far, more than 105 teams have qualified for the 2013 NPL Champions Cup, and many more will add their names to the list as NPLs wrap up their seasons this summer. Likewise, clubs have begun adding their names to the list of teams qualifying for the National Cup XII Finals, with six more Regionals scheduled over the next three weeks.
This will mark the second year that these two events have been held together, as the 2012 NPL Champions Cup and National Cup XI Finals kicked off last year at Waukegan Sports Park outside Chicago.
Stay tuned for the next entry in the series, which will take a look at the diverse locations where the 2013 NPL Champions Cup participants will come from.