Players from Wilson Youth Soccer Association and Wake Futbol Club jostle for ownership of the soccer ball during the 2016 Summer Explosion Cup at Gillette Soccer Complex. A total of 61 teams will take part in this year's version, which kicks off Saturday and runs through Sunday.
Paul Durham | Times
From staff reports
If the weather forecasts are any indication, then the Wilson Youth Soccer Association’s eighth annual Summer Explosion Cup will be tasked with ducking and dodging thunderstorms throughout for the next two days.
Scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at Gillette Soccer Complex, a total of 61 boys and girls teams across 15 different age divisions will take part in what has become a popular season-opening destination for North Carolina Youth Soccer teams. The total numbers are down from 2016, when 79 teams committed to play.
In addition to Gillette, matches will be contested at Toisnot Middle and the Barton College Outdoor Athletic Complex. As always, the 15 divisions will be competing for the glitzy Summer Explosion Cup championship trophy, designed to be a replica of the World Cup.
Contingent on the number of teams in each division, champions will be determined by a round-robin points system or a round-robin followed by bracket play.
Divisions will house anywhere from three to six teams and will feature competition in U-10 Girls Gold, U-11 Girls Gold, U-11 Boys Gold, U-11 Boys Silver, U-12 Girls Gold, U-12 Boys Gold, U-13 Girls Silver, U-13 Girls Gold, U-13 Boys Gold, U-13 Boys Silver, U-14 Boys Gold, U-15 Girls Gold, U-14 & 15 Girls Silver, U-16 & 17 Girls Gold and U-18 & 19 Girls Gold.
WYSA representatives, which accounted for eight division titles in 2016, will take 14 teams into the weekend’s matches.
Out-of-town teams will represent organizations such as Pitt-Greenville Soccer Association, Southwest Soccer Club, North Carolina FC Youth (formerly Capital Area Soccer League/Triangle Futbol Club Alliance), Wake Futbol Club, Coastal United Soccer Association, Greater Cleveland Athletic Association, Neuse River Futbol Alliance, Onslow Classic Soccer Association, Tar River Youth Soccer Association, Wayne County United Soccer Club, Wilmington Hammerheads FC, Triangle United Soccer Association and Jacksonville Area Soccer Association.
In U-13 Boys Gold, Discoveries Soccer Club based out of Rock Hill, South Carolina, will compete. DSC will carry a No. 7 ranking from South Carolina into the tournament, the highest of any team in the field.
Chances of showers or thunderstorms will remain at 50 percent or higher throughout the weekend.