Columbus hosting major youth cup soccer tournaments

If someone you know is coming into town this weekend and looking for a hotel room on short notice, he or she may be out of luck.

Today through Sunday, Columbus will serve as Indiana’s youth soccer mecca as it hosts the finals of three major boys and girls tournaments simultaneously — the State Cup, the Presidents Cup and the Challenge Cup.

The State Cup, the most prestigious of the three, is contested by boys and girls teams from the under-13 division up through the under-19 division. The Presidents Cup is for teams in the U13 through U17 divisions, and the Challenge Cup covers U11 through U17.

This is the second time in the past six years that Columbus has hosted the Cup finals.

“It’s going to be packed,” Columbus Express president Chip Orben said. “It’s going to be really busy out there. We’ve got about 170 teams coming in from throughout the state.”

The Alliance FC CESC 02 Orange girls won the U13 State Cup last year, and that same group is back this year in the U14 division. The Columbus team will play against the Indiana Fire in a 10 a.m. semifinal Saturday, with the championship match scheduled for Sunday at the same time.

The CESC 03 Orange girls squad, which qualified and reached the semifinals last year in the Presidents Cup U12 division, also has qualified for the State Cup semis and will play in an 8 a.m. match Saturday. The title match in that division will be played at 7:30 a.m. Sunday.

Both the U13 and U14 teams are coached by Kenrick Ramirez, the Express director of coaching.

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Ryan O'Leary is sports editor for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at roleary@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2715.