April 16, 2017
Built on the success of the inaugural Philadelphia International Unity Cup last year, the city is looking for more teams to participate in this year's event.
On Thursday, Mayor Jim Kenney and other city officials announced registration is now open to secure a spot in the city-wide soccer tournament. Created last year, the athletic showcase promotes the city's rich cultural diversity as each team represents a different country.
While the tournament was limited to 32 teams last year, the cap was lifted for this year's event. The only restriction is the number of nations on Earth, but only one team can represent a country.
“I want to thank the U.S. Soccer Foundation for partnering with us to introduce soccer to a new generation of Philadelphians through the Unity Youth Soccer League," Kenney said. "It’s exciting to see how the PIUC is growing and connecting with our communities and youth citywide through soccer.”
The tournament will begin in September and conclude in November when the championship game is played for the first time at Lincoln Financial Field. Teams of 25 players comprising of men and women 18 years and older.
To sign up, teams must submit a letter of commitment and $100 to city's Parks and Recreation Department by May 5.
A new feature of this year's program will be a youth soccer league, supporting children between 8 and 12 years old. The league will begin in the spring to encourage active and healthy lifestyles.
“Through this partnership, we can improve the health and social outcomes of more children through increased access to proven soccer programming,” said Jen Jinks, chief strategy officer of U.S. Soccer Foundation.
Goya will return as the presenting sponsor of the tournament.
Last year, the Ivory Coast team beat the Liberia squad at Citizens Bank Park to win the first tournament.