Monday, September 12, 2011

4 sports, one big old field of green

LAKEWOOD RANCH — The Premier Sports Campus will be hosting soccer, rugby, Frisbee and football this weekend.

The U.S. National U17 boys soccer team will play two exhibition games against the Clearwater Chargers on Saturday.

 “These are the best young soccer players in America,” said Tim Mulqueen, Lakewood Ranch’s director of sports, in a press release from Schroeder-Manatee Ranch.

There are about 40 players on the U.S. National team, from all over the country. They will split up to play two games — one at 10 a.m. on Saturday against the Clearwater Chargers U16 team and one at noon on Saturday against the Chargers U18 team.  These games are free and open to the public.

Three other sports will take place simultaneously this weekend.  A rugby 10’s tournament will start on Saturday and continue on Sunday. This world cup rugby event, hosted by the Sarasota Saracens rugby team, will bring in 20-30 elite rugby teams from around the state to compete and will run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days.

The Ultimate Frisbee world championships will also take place Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and the YMCA football league will be playing regular league games all weekend as well.

The last major event at the campus was the Labor Day soccer tournament, which brought in approximately 19,000 amateur athletes and fans, generating more than $8 million in economic impact to the region.

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