ORLANDO, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - The Florida Cup announced on Wednesday that they have formed a new partnership with Monteverde Academy.
Monteverde's high-profile annual tournament, called the Monteverde Academy Soccer Tournament (MAST), will be held in conjunction with the 2018 Florida Cup. The top regional U17 and U19 Boys teams will also be featured.
Renamed the 2018 FC MAST, the tournament will kick off on January 9th at Monteverde Academy and end on January 15th at the University of Central Florida's (UCF) soccer stadium. There will be a special half-time ceremony during the 4 p.m. Florida Cup match at Spectrum Stadium that will honor the champions.
The partnership will also provide special programming for the participating players and their families. For example, they will be offered exclusive professional training sessions attendance, Florida Cup match experiences, and seminars by professional players and executives.
The Florida Cup All-Star game -- which includes international stays like Dutch International Ruud van Nistelrooy, Colombian goalkeeper Rene Higuita, and Brazilian International Denilson, and more -- will be held at Monteverde Academy on January 9th at 8 p.m. It will be free for all students, players, amd family.
The Director of the Soccer Institute at Monteverde Academy, Mike Potempa, said that the partnership "is a great opportunity for our school to capitalize on the synergies, and provide our athletes with access to the top professional teams and exposure to college and pro scouts who will be in Orlando in January. We look forward to a successful first year and many more to come.”
The Florida Cup owner also made a statement say that "our goal is to provide these kids with an impactful experience." He went on to say that "This partnership is also a way for us to further embrace the local community by offering aspiring soccer players an opportunity to learn from the best from Europe and South America, as well as share valuable experiences that will help these kids in their development stage on and off the field.”
The FC MAST format will be round-robin play for each group of six teams from the area and abroad in the U17 and U19 categories, with the top two teams advancing to the finals.
Confirmed participating clubs include include Montverde Academy, 2SV Sports (BRA), Florida Rush Soccer, Global Premier Soccer Florida, Spirit United, and more. The final bracket will be announced in the upcoming weeks.