Soccer players descend on Greenville - FOX Carolina 21

Soccer players descend on Greenville

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A soccer ball is kicked by players on a field in Greenville County. (File/FOX Carolina) A soccer ball is kicked by players on a field in Greenville County. (File/FOX Carolina)

Thousands of soccer players from across the country have come to Greenville for a huge tournament happening this weekend.

The U.S. Youth Soccer Southern Regional Championships, held by the Carolina Elite Soccer Academy, began Thursday at the MESA Soccer Complex on Anderson Ridge Road.

More than 200 teams and 4,500 players, from states as far away as Texas and Oklahoma, are participating in the tournament.

"You've got some national teams and players out here," said CESA Director Pearse Tormey. "You've got some kids out here that have already committed to play college. These teams are the best teams in their state, all coming here to compete against each other, looking for an opportunity to go to the national event, which is where the winners of this will go."

It's the first time since 1995 the tournament has been held in Greenville. Since then, CESA and Greenville Rec planners have worked together to create the 16-field complex that will hold this year's tournament.

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