Twenty collegiate soccer teams along the East Coast and throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region of the U.S. will be making their way to the Mountain State Oct. 30 to take part in the four-day USCAA Soccer Championship.
The United States Collegiate Athletic Association announced in January WVU Tech will play host to the 2013 and 2014 USCAA Men's and Women's Soccer National Championships. Warren Wilson College in Asheville, N.C., hosted the event in 2011 and 2012.
The championship contests will be played at the Schoenbaum Soccer Stadium at Coonskin Park and the Friends of Coal Trace Fork Soccer Complex in South Charleston.
"One year ago, our men's team was in Asheville competing in the championship and we said 'Hey, we can do this . . . We can bring this event to Charleston,' " WVU Tech Athletic Director Frank Pergolizzi said Monday at a press conference at the Charleston Civic Center.
WVU Tech submitted a bid to the USCAA in November. The school worked with the Charleston Convention and Visitor's Bureau, the Charleston Marriott Town Center and the Holiday Inn Express to organize the event.
"I believe that what attracted the USCAA to Charleston is the close proximity of the downtown hotels, restaurants and shopping," Pergolizzi said. "Everything is within walking distance, which is beneficial to the teams and their fans . . . The opportunities Charleston has to offer will help us increase our involvement in the USCAA. Charleston is a strong soccer community with excellent facilities."
Pergolizzi said all the teams will stay at the Marriott and the parents and fans will be housed at the Holiday Inn Express.
The USCAA is a 100-member conference whose goal is to "level the playing field for small colleges." WVU Tech joined the USCAA in 2011.
The four-day event will feature 24 games. The first round of games will be held on Oct. 30. A banquet will follow at the Civic Center. The semifinals will take place on Oct. 31. The quarterfinals are to take place on Nov. 1. The championship games will be Nov. 2 and all championship contests will be at the Trace Fork location.
Pergolizzi said he expects 600 visitors to the area. The Charleston CVB has estimated the soccer tournament to have a $400,000-$500,000 economic impact on the City of Charleston.