Big Goals: Soccer’s Future Stars and the Tournament That Will Test Them

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Nationwide media tour highlights launch of Relevent’s International Champions Cup Futures Tournament presented by Rakuten bringing the game’s future stars from around the globe and the U.S. to ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida to test elite against elite.

You know the names….Messi, Beckham, Ronaldo, Pulisic. You’ve seen the goals. What they all have in common is that at one point, all these international stars played youth soccer.

A video accompanying this announcement is available at:

The future of soccer depends on finding, training and encouraging the world’s up-and-coming youth players and there is no better way of doing that then by gathering the game’s future stars from around the globe and the U.S. at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida this summer to challenge elite against elite.

The inaugural International Champions Cup Futures Tournament, launched by Relevent and presented by Rakuten, will gather the game’s budding stars from around the globe and the U.S.

The tournament will feature 24 teams from the United States and Europe comprised of the top youth players in the world. There are eight teams from Major League Soccer (MLS) Development Academy teams, eight USA all-star teams and eight European club teams competing in the single-elimination tournament.

A nationwide media tour was conducted to highlight the launch of the tournament featuring Charlie Stillitano, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Relevent and John Harkes, two-time USA FIFA World Cup team member, in conjunction with D S Simon Media and Your Update.TV.

Stillitano and Harkes discussed:

  • How is the ICC Futures tournament is helping to build the next generation of soccer stars
  • What it mean to have U.S players challenging themselves against the best international competition
  • What is being done in the U.S. to encourage and grow more youth participation in soccer

The eight teams from MLS Development Academies include the DC United, Houston Dynamo, LA Galaxy, New York City F.C., New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Real Salt Lake and the Seattle Sounders. The eight USA all-star teams were selected from eight states: Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The eight European club teams include Arsenal F.C., Atlético Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Celtic F.C., Chelsea F.C., F.C. Bayern Munich, Liverpool F.C. and Tottenham Hotspur F.C.

The quarterfinals will be televised on ESPNU July 20, the semifinals on ESPNEWS July 21 and the final match will be shown on ESPN2 on July 22.

All games will be played at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex – the premier site for amateur sports in the nation. The sports complex hosts more than 100 entertainment and sporting events each year for girls and boys.

About the International Champions Cup:
The International Champions Cup is the world's premier annual summer soccer tournament featuring the top European clubs playing across North America, Europe and Asia. The tournament brings world-class soccer to the masses by organizing marquee matches that attract record-breaking crowds – including the largest recorded attendance for a soccer match in the United States. Founded in 2013, the tournament's sixth installment will feature 18 of the top clubs in the world playing 27 matches in 22 cities across the globe, along with the first Women's International Champions Cup, featuring top women's players from around the world, and the first International Champions Cup Futures event featuring top youth players from around the world.

About YourUpdateTV:
YourUpdateTV is a social media video portal for organizations to share their content, produced by award-winning video communications firm, D S Simon Media ( It includes separate channels for Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Media and Entertainment, Money and Finance, Social Responsibility, Sports and Technology.

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Michael O’Donnell
D S Simon Media
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