|Cache Valley Cup continues to grow
This year's tourney features 187
By Jason Turner
(Click Here to read the story on their site)
Much like the Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back, the Cache Valley Cup has grown
substantially over the past five years.
More than 3,100 kids between the ages of 9 and 18 will be competing in
the valley’s largest annual soccer tournament. The eighth installment
of the Cache Valley Cup kicked off Wednesday and will continue through
“Over the last five years, we’ve went from just over 70 teams to 187
teams this year,” said Terri Baker, who is instrumental in organizing
the tourney. “The growth is unbelievable and, I mean, there’s 40 more
teams than last year. We’ve never seen growth like this. It’s just kind
All 187 teams are guaranteed three matches against fellow clubs from
primarily Cache Valley to Salt Lake County. There are a handful of
teams from outside the Beehive State at the Cup, including the Rexburg,
Idaho-based Madison United Club.
The tournament is organized, run and sponsored by Northern Utah United
(NUU) which, up until a year ago, was known as District 7. NUU’s
primary purpose is to organize youth soccer for those residing in Cache
and Box Elder counties at all levels of play.
“We have more out-of-valley teams than we’ve ever had before,” said
Baker, who is the NUU’s programs administrator.
To accommodate the 3,000-plus players, this year’s Cache Valley Cup is
spread out over 14 different fields at four different venues. The
tourney is headquartered at Cedar Ridge Middle School (65 N. 200 West)
in Hyde Park, with fields also being used at Sky View High School,
Mount Logan Middle School and the Black Hawk complex.
Each division is organized in a pool-play format, with the top two
teams — based on a points system — advancing to the championship
showdown on Saturday. Each team is allowed to have up to 18 players on
The tourney kicked off Wednesday from 4-9 p.m., continues today from
7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and will resume Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday’s title matches will be contested in the morning and early
The Cache Valley Cup is now one of the biggest tournaments in Utah and
strongly suggests just how popular the sport is in the valley.
“Our numbers are massive here in Cache Valley,” Baker said. “There are
probably 4,000-6,000 kids that are playing annually here.”
There are several reasons as to why soccer is so well-received in this
community, Baker asserted.
“What I like about soccer is that there’s a place for any kid of any
temperament on a soccer field,” Baker said. “If you’re a passive kid,
there’s a place for you; if you’re an aggressive kid, there’s a place
for you; if you’re a really fast runner, there’s a place for you; if
you’re not so fast, we’ve still got a place for you in soccer. I mean,
grass, gravel, beach, three players, 10 players, you can accommodate
almost every situation which, I think, is why the sport is growing so
Arguably the most anticipated event of the Cache Valley Cup takes place
Friday evening. That’s when the team dinner, carnival — e.g. raffles,
inflatable bounce houses — and coaches vs. referees game is held. This
year’s festivities will take place at Sky View.
The team dinner is free of charge for coaches and players from all 187
teams. Pizza Hut and Casper’s are providing the food for the dinner,
which is slated to begin at 5:30 p.m. Parents and siblings will also
get fed for $3 a plate.
“It’s a cool thing to see how many kids are there and the camaraderie,”
Baker said of the Friday night activities. “It’s quite an event.”
There are two coaches vs. referees matches this year — a
less-competitive game at 7:30 and a more-competitive and longer match
an hour later — and this is something Baker always looks forward to.
The referees have emerged victorious over the coaches in all but one of
the seven matches, including a 2-1 win in 2011.
“It’s an exhibition for the kids, to watch what their coaches can do
and let the referees get a little bit (of revenge) back,” Baker said
with a chuckle. “It’s been a great thing, and you can’t believe the
talent that comes and plays in these games. It’s just amazing.”
Countless hours were spent organizing the tournament by Northern Utah
United board members Sherri Dever, Toni Doney, Shauna Espinoza, Dale
Baker and Jeff Ginn, plus NUU president Russ Austin and vice president
Scott Jones. Cassie Baker, Katie Hollingsworth and Gary Wiser were also
paramount in making this tourney a reality, Terri Baker said.
Terri Baker also made it a point to thank the Infinity Soccer Club for
its help in putting on the Cup.
Infinity's Richardo Quhel, 12, heads up the field during a Cache Valley
Cup match at Cedar Ridge Middle School in Hyde Park Wednesday.
(Jennifer Meyers/Herald Journal)