The 2016 Schwan’s USA CUP will expand its international footprint by welcoming its first Chinese team in many years. The Shanghai-Xingta Primary School, based in rural Shanghai, is currently finalizing visa arrangements for its players.
The Shanghai-Xingta Primary School is one of the traditional Chinese football schools and has a long history. It is the cradle of Shanghai women's football and has hosted numerous football matches and related activities. Most recent, it hosted the second Girls Football Festival, launched by the Asian Football Confederation this past March.
The U11 girls’ team from the Shanghai-Xingta Primary School has participated in numerous competitions under coach Yang Yulin. The girls are in grades 5 and have been playing soccer since 2012. They train five times a week, 90-120 minutes each time. They were champions of the Shanghai Campus Football League in 2014 and 2015, and finished third in 2016. They also were champions of the Shanghai Red Scarf Football League in 2015.
Even though soccer is an important part of their curriculum and the students are passionate about the game, the emphasis of the school, first and foremost, is academic development of the students. It will be the first time these students have been in the U.S. and it also will be their first tournament overseas. They will be accompanied by three teachers.
In 2015, Schwan’s USA CUP welcomed 16,000 participants from 1,153 teams representing 19 states and 16 countries. In addition, 40 Chinese referees officiated in 2015. Another 40 will be attending the 2016 event.
As this issue of China Insight goes to print, teams were still registering for the 2016 tournament, but registration numbers have already surpassed those of 2015, making the upcoming tournament a new record. The 32nd annual Schwan’s USA CUP will be held at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minn., July 15-23, 2016.
About Schwan’s USA CUP
The Schwan’s USA CUP is the largest youth soccer tournament in the Western Hemisphere. With an out-of-state economic impact of more than $32 million, Schwan’s USA CUP is Minnesota’s largest annual out-of-state tourism event.
The tournament is unique as the only tournament of its size in the world that holds all its games on a single contiguous campus. It’s also known for its ambitious program of off-the-field activities that include an Olympic-style opening ceremony, a daily video show, live webcasting of selected games, social and educational activities for the players and their families, and tours to major Twin Cities tourist destinations.
About the National Sports Center
The National Sports Center NSC)r is a State of Minnesota sports campus developed to generate economic impact for the state and to provide sports opportunities for Minnesota residents. A gem of a facility, it is operated by the National Sports Center Foundation, a non-profit foundation.
The NSC is Minnesota’s premier amateur sports destination, hosting nearly 300 events annually, and welcoming more than 42 million visitors since its opening in 1990. Components of the 690-acre facility are the eight-sheet Schwan Super Rink, a soccer stadium; a meeting and convention center, the Victory Links golf course, a cycling Velodrome, an indoor Sports Hall with a FieldTurf field, a residence hall and 54 soccer fields.
The NSC is the largest amateur sports complex in the world.