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Youth soccer: Festival included in anniversary cup

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The Kohl’s U.S. Youth Soccer American Cup will make a stop here later this month in conjunction with the PKSA 50th Anniversary Spring Klover Cup.


“It’s our 50-year anniversary and we’re having two tournaments, one in the spring and one in the fall,” Paul Klover Soccer Association representative Amanda Blackburn said. “(U.S. Youth Soccer) put out a release to apply for the Kohl’s Cup.


“They make it a soccer festival, inflatables for kids to play on, tents, intercom system with music. They make it a festival.”


Blackburn said PKSA wanted to include the community in the anniversary celebration.


“The mission statement is about creating a love for soccer, for kids of all ages and kids from every level of the game,” Blackburn said.


“We want as many children in the community to come out. There will be prizes to give away.”


The Kohl’s American Cup is the largest recreational youth soccer tournament in the U.S., according to a U.S. Youth Soccer press release.


“They only accept certain tournaments,” Blackburn said. “We are a small soccer club, compared to Kansas City and Columbia. It’s an honor for them to come and bring it to our town.”


The tournament begins April 27 and lasts through April 28 at Clover Dell Park.


With age groups from under-8 to under-18 for boys and girls, the tournament expects around 40 teams from around the state to compete in the first Kohl’s American Cup held locally.


The Kohl’s American Cup features more than 60 tournaments nationwide from March to December.


All tournaments are open to players registered with the U.S. Soccer State Association recreational league.


Blackburn said that 12 local teams are set to compete.


Admission is free for the event that will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both April 27 and 28.


The program, which began in 2000, seeks to be a fun, family-like atmosphere.


Games are geared toward participation rather than competition.


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