For what started as a chance for minor soccer players in Edmonton to play more games during the holidays, the Polar Cup has slowly become one of the largest soccer tournaments in Canada.
FC Edmonton has teamed up for another year with the Edmonton Minor Soccer Association (EMSA) as the presenting sponsor of the Polar Cup – a tournament that attracts close to 6,000 boys and girls at the U10 to U18 levels from all over western Canada and the northwest United States from December 27-29.
“It started as a Christmas tournament with 60 or 70 games about 24 years ago,” said EMSA President Mario Charpentier. “This year we have around 270 games, but in the past it’s been as high as 400.”
The 7v7 indoor tournament has grown in large numbers in the last quarter-century to become the largest of its kind in western Canada. With such high participation numbers, 13 indoor facilities across Edmonton are booked solid for the Cup’s three-day duration.
“Every year it gets bigger and bigger,” Charpentier added. “It’s a lot of work but it’s worth it for the thousands of kids that play here every year.”
In addition to being this year’s presenting sponsor of the Polar Cup, FC Edmonton has been hard at work with academy players devoting their time training U10 and U12 age groups during the tournament.
“The players spent more than four hours with the kids and will be here all three days,” Charpentier said.
This Thursday, Eddies’ midfielder and Canadian international Nik Ledgerwood alongside teammates such as Allan Zebie will be on hand to distribute medals at the end of the tournament.
|2||New York Cosmos||10||18|
|4||Minnesota United FC||8||15|
|5||Fort Lauderdale Strikers||10||15|
|6||North Carolina FC||10||14|
|8||Tampa Bay Rowdies||8||10|
|9||Ottawa Fury FC||8||8|
|10||Jacksonville Armada FC||10||7|
|1||New York Cosmos||22||47|
|6||Fort Lauderdale Strikers||22||26|
|7||North Carolina FC||22||26|
|8||Puerto Rico FC||22||24|
|9||Jacksonville Armada FC||22||23|
|10||Tampa Bay Rowdies||18||21|
|11||Minnesota United FC||18||21|
|12||Ottawa Fury FC||18||12|
|1||New York Cosmos||32||65|
|5||Fort Lauderdale Strikers||32||41|
|7||North Carolina FC||32||40|
|8||Minnesota United FC||26||36|
|9||Tampa Bay Rowdies||26||31|
|10||Jacksonville Armada FC||32||30|
|11||Puerto Rico FC||22||24|
|12||Ottawa Fury FC||26||20|