Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Eagle Harbor Complex Hosts National Soccer Tournament

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Eagle Harbor Complex Hosts National Soccer Tournament

Article excerpt

Byline: R. Michael Anderson, County Line staff writer

Hundreds of soccer players, coaches, parents and spectators will be arriving at the Eagle Harbor Soccer Complex this morning for a two-day national tournament hosted by the Clay County Soccer Club.

The Eagle Harbor sports complex is one of 65 sites coast-to-coast that are hosting weekend tournaments this year as part of the 3-v-3 Soccer Shootout National Tour, sponsored by the dairy industry. The Soccer Shootout is open to players of all skill levels ages 6 to young adults.

The host hotel for the event is the Comfort Inn on Park Avenue in Orange Park, where most of the visiting teams will be staying. Polly Gossin, the hotel's director of sales, said Thursday that the tournament director had booked 70 room nights at the Comfort Inn and additional reservations went to the nearby Fairfield Inn.

Gossin speculated that whether the event returns to Eagle Harbor next year "depends on how well this tournament goes." Judging from comments she has heard from soccer players and fans who have stayed at the Comfort Inn during previous tournaments, she said, it should be a big success.

"Eagle Harbor is a very good soccer complex," she said.

Leo Flanagan, executive director of the Clay County Soccer Club, said when the visiting teams and tournament organizers see the top-flight facilities Eagle Harbor has to offer, they will be back.

"We're looking for them not just to return next year with this tournament, but to have the regional finals here next year," Flanagan said. "This year, the regionals will be in Orlando [in August]."

During this weekend's tournament, teams will be participating from as far away as Atlanta and throughout Florida, he said.

Each team will have three players and two substitutes, all of whom will receive a T-shirt. …

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