Icebreaker Tournament this weekend


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The Prince William Soccer Inc. Icebreaker Tournament, now the largest event of its kind on the East Coast, can use any fields the county’s willing to provide. So the early grand opening of Valley View Park will be welcome news for the tournament’s organizers.

Four of Valley View’s six soccer fields will open Saturday for the first of two days for the ninth annual Icebreaker event. In all, 598 teams will compete, including the 24 Under-14 boys teams that will play at Valley View. The county’s Park Authority had planned an April 1 opening for the park, but agreed to open two-thirds of the fields a week early for this tournament.

“We actually had to turn away about 100 teams because of not having enough fields,” said Jim Griffin, a member of the tournament committee. “It has grown each year. We expect 25,000 players, family members and coaches to be here.”

Dozens of fields will be used within Prince William County and the Quantico Marine Base. Eleven states will be represented, with 100 teams coming from New England. About 20-25 local teams will compete, including a defending Virginia State Cup Champion, the 14-and-under PWSI Magnum boys. The Magnum will play two games at Valley View on Saturday and at least one Sunday.

The PWSI teams will manage each site, handling every aspect from site coordination to program development to field equipment. Visitors paid a $450 entry fee per team.

“Teams are coming from as far away as Minnesota,” Griffin said. “Over the years, this has grown into the largest preseason tournament on the East Coast.”

Icebreaker registration will take place tonight in the lobby of the Hylton Memorial Chapel. Parent volunteers will be signing in the 598 teams.

In addition to Valley View, several new school sites will be used this year along with James S. Long Regional Park in Haymarket.

PWSI’s regular seasons begin as early as next weekend, as the girls travel teams open play March 29. Boys travel and the recreational season start April 5.

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