METUCHEN, N.J. – The United Women’s Soccer national pro-am league Friday announced plans to hold a National Cup at the Round Rock Multipurpose Complex in Round Rock, Texas July 9-17.
The UWS National Cup, hosted by FC Austin Elite, will provide an opportunity for teams to compete this summer after the recent cancellation of the regular season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The tournament will feature current UWS teams and new teams committed to joining the standards-driven pro-am league in 2021. Seven teams have confirmed their intent to play, including four teams from the state of Texas: Bat Country FC, CTX Hornets, Dallas International, and FC Austin Elite. Out of state teams include 2019 East Conference champions – Lancaster Inferno (Pa.), 2016 national champions – Santa Clarita Blue Heat (Calif.), and Worcester Smiles (Mass.).
UWS is primarily composed of players competing at the college ranks, along with aspiring/former professionals. These players will compete with their respective teams in a nine-day tournament format of three games, semifinals and final. The tournament will be held without fans, and games will be live-streamed.
Additional information on competition format, scheduling, and other important details will be made available in the coming weeks.
The league’s return to play will be conducted in compliance with all local and state public health guidelines. The medical director of the UWS National Cup is Dr. Martha Pyron, who is board certified in family practice and sports medicine. Her private practice, Medicine in Motion, will serve as the tournament’s official medical provider and partner. Thorough guidelines and safety protocols for team travel (air/ground), lodging, and the tournament venue are being developed by Dr. Pyron and her team of experts.
“We can look for ways to minimize the risk and that’s what we’re trying to do in an extreme way,” Pyron said in a statement. “Can we get together and do this and lower the risk? Absolutely. And if we follow the rules that are put in place, the risk is lowered substantially.”
The concept of a tournament was suggested by Calgary Foothills (2019 UWS national runners-up) in April during one of the league’s conference calls. As more time passed, limiting the length of the season, the idea evolved into an event open to the entire league. Danny Woodfill, GM of FC Austin Elite offered to host the tournament and has been instrumental in planning and figuring out the logistics.
“We’re excited to bring UWS down to Round Rock for this National Cup tournament,” Austin Elite FC general manager Danny Woodfill said. “We realized pretty early on that this would not be a ‘normal’ season and we thought with the low instance of infections in Round Rock & Williamson County, we might have a better chance of getting on the field than the rest of the country and it was up to us to make something happen. Fortunately, we already had a great medical partner in Medicine in Motion to help develop safe return to play protocols and allow us to get back on the field. We can’t wait to host our friends from around the country in a truly unique women’s soccer event.”
Teams interested in joining the 2020 UWS National Cup can fill out an Inquiry Form. The commitment deadline is June 19.