Montreal Impact to Host Two Youth Soccer Tournaments This Summer
International Under-14 Tournament and Local Qualifier to be Played at Centre Nutrilait
The Montreal Impact made their mark on youth development Wednesday morning. The club announced two U14 soccer tournaments—an international one involving eight teams and a qualifier including 16 teams from Quebec’s youth ranks.
L’International U14 will take place at Centre Nutrilait, the Montreal Impact’s training ground, from June 29 to July 2 and will include the Impact along with five teams from Major League Soccer: DC United, the Chicago Fire, the New England Revolution, Atlanta United and the Houston Dynamo. The seventh spot will be filled by the Impact’s international partner, Bologna FC.
“With this, we remain committed to our five-year plan,” said Montreal Impact President Joey Saputo. “We want to keep connected with the international [stage] and we will continue to organize events to be a proactive force on the global soccer scene with our first team as well as our youth.”
The eighth and final spot will be decided by a new qualifying tournament involving 16 teams from the Quebec provincial ranks. The winner of this tournament to be held on April 29 and 30 will get the right to enter the international competition.
The teams participating in the qualifying stage are: CS Longueuil, AS Hull, CS Mont-Royal Outremont, Braves d’Ahuntsic, Lakeshore Soccer Club, Étoiles de l’Est, Spatial de Saint-Hubert, CS Montréal-Nord, AS NDG, Rebelles de l’Est, CS Rousillon, AS Saint-Lambert, AS Gatineau, CS Saint-Laurent, FC Trois Lacs and CS L’Assomption.
“In less than 48 hours, the 16 spots for this tournament filled up,” said Philippe Eullaffroy, the Impact academy technical director. “That shows the interest for this [competition] that leads to the U14 international tournament.”
“Like we often say, it’s the Montreal Impact but we also want it to be the Quebec Impact, of the province as a whole.” — Philippe Eullaffroy, Montreal Impact Academy Technical Director.
Eullaffroy has expressed interest in opening the qualifying tournament to more clubs in their future editions because of the very high demand.
For the Impact’s U14 head coach Serge Dinkota, giving back to the local clubs is very important. Despite having to decline professional academies to do so, it was important for them to reserve a spot in their tournament for a local team.
“Without amateur clubs, the Impact wouldn’t go very far,” said Dinkota. “We really wanted to keep a spot for Quebec teams and show that we don’t think of ourselves as bigger but rather include them and give the opportunity to another team than us to participate in this event.”
“It’s important to give the message that the Montreal Impact isn’t exclusive but inclusive,” added Saputo.
After last year’s U14 tournament, won by DC United, Eullaffroy mentioned that many of the teams including DC and the Chicago Fire asked Impact staff if they could return for the second edition.
This year, the technical director wanted to double down on his intentions by adding more teams to the international tournament and by creating the qualifying stage.
“Like we often say, it’s the Montreal Impact but we also want it to be the Quebec Impact, of the province as a whole,” said Eullaffroy.
The group draw for the qualifying stage will be held on April 5 while the draw for the international tournament will be held on June 14, both through the Impact’s Facebook Live.
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