By Rob LeDonne
The soccerloco San Diego Surf Cup, a multi-weekend event which was held at the San Diego Polo Club near Del Mar, recently wrapped up another year of showcasing young soccer talent from all over the country and world, promoting the sport, and drawing thousands to North County. It was the 33rd year for the successful event, which has grown into the biggest single soccer tournament in the country, and continues to serve as a vital boost to the local economy.
“Our tagline is the best of the best, and we truly meant it this year,” explained Brandon Maskell, the marketing director for
,which has been a sponsor for the tournament for the past 12 years. “Over time, it’s grown a reputation for not only having amazing competition, but having a great location as well. The polo fields are perfect for soccer; the grass is super flat and in great condition.”
Set up in a bracket system, teams were broken up into age groups with the oldest players being 18.
“We deny more teams than we accept,” Maskell explained of the process. “There’s a selection committee that takes a look at their resumes, with wins and losses.”
Maskell noted that this year 500 teams from all over the United States and countries such as Mexico and Guatemala turned out for the cup this year, and many from out of town don’t only come for the Cup, but stay for a week and enjoy all that North County and San Diego has to offer.
Said Maskell, “The weather here is an attraction in itself, people don’t just come for a day or two and go right home. Once the soccer is over, everyone goes to the beaches or explores the area.”
Overall, Maskell and his team estimates that more than 25,000 people turned out for the Cup this year, whether they were parents, coaches, or players. In addition, countless scouts from all over the world turned out to survey the country’s top soccer talent, from colleges and clubs alike. Perhaps most notably, 11-year-old Joshua Pynadath from Los Altos Hills, Calif., was recruited at the tournament to attend the academy for Spain’s world renowned Real Madrid soccer club. The signing made headlines across the world.
“Year after year we get bigger and bigger,” Maskell notes. “We always have the most elite scouts come, so it’s probably the biggest opportunity for these players to get recruited.” Another notable scout that turned up was from the Manchester City [Soccer] Club, part of the famed English Premier League.
Maskell predicts that the tournament will double in size next year thanks to a second facility in development in Oceanside. The tournament, which was also sponsored in part by Nike, serves as a showpiece for San Diego Soccer Club as well.