International soccer tournament coming to Palm Coast

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The following is an adapted press release from the city of Palm Coast:

Youth soccer teams from England and across the United States will come to Palm Coast in October for a major youth soccer tournament being put on by Global Image Sports in association with the local PDA Florida competitive soccer club, the city announced Wednesday.

The GIS Cup soccer tournament will be held at the Indian Trails Sports Complex over Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 11-13. GIS is a Georgia-based sports management company that represents European professional soccer clubs searching for new soccer talent in North America.

West Ham United, of England's Premier League, will be sending a U16 academy team to compete in the Elite Showcase Bracket at the GIS Cup. The tournament is expected to attract many teams from outside the region due to GIS partnerships across the United States, GIS officials said. Participation is open to youth teams from U9 to U18.

"We are very excited about the first GIS Cup soccer tournament at this excellent location in Palm Coast,” said Mike Kelleher, of GIS. “We have been actively seeking the right facility and partner for the past few years to launch our tournament series, and in Palm Coast and PDA Florida, we believe we have the perfect fit."

Tournament Director Reggy Monsanto, of PDA Florida, said this will be the first tournament ever to bring international teams to play in Palm Coast.

“GIS has partner clubs all over the United States, and all of them are being invited,” Monsanto said. “Once word gets out, we think more teams from around the region will come. Higher-level teams are looking for opportunities to compete against like competition and against teams they’ve never player before, and the GIS Cup will be a perfect fit for both.”

The city has worked strategically over the past three years to develop Palm Coast as a premiere location for youth soccer and lacrosse in the southeast. Partners in the economic development initiative include the Flagler County Tourist Development Council, the Palm Coast Sports Alliance and PDA Florida.

The GIS Cup soccer tournament is the latest in a series of big sports announcements for Palm Coast and those partners. The area’s popularity for soccer and lacrosse tournaments has grown steadily in recent years, aided by top-notch field conditions, beautiful weather, excellent quality of life, and its central location midway between Orlando and Jacksonville with easy access to Interstate 95.

Last month, the City leased 65 acres to PDA Florida for development of a new soccer complex on U.S. 1 that has the potential to attract larger and more prestigious soccer tournaments. In March, Just4Keepers International Goalkeeping Academy, an international youth soccer program that prepares goalkeepers for college and professional soccer, selected Palm Coast as the home for its new U.S. national camp. The academy’s national residential camp will be held in Palm Coast later this year.


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