The Schwan’s USA Cup is in its 32nd year of competition and is the third largest youth football tournament world and continues to grow, with 2016’s tournament attracting over 1100 teams. Schwan’s USA Cup has hosted teams from 35 US States and many different countries including Austria, Bermuda, Brazil, Columbia, Denmark, England, Haiti, Hungary, India, Japan, Russia, and Sweden to name but a few during it’s 32 years of competition.
The tournament is played at the National Sports Centre (NSC), the world’s largest premier soccer complex, located just north of Minneapolis in Blaine, Minnesota. The NSC has over 50 full size grass fields in one location. The tournament provides excellent competition and cultural exchange that enables officials to work with international teams and referees of different nationalities and levels of ability.
The aim of the trip was to give officials the chance to officiate in a football tournament on a world stage, overcoming the cultural differences and language barriers by use of the whistle and body language. It also gave officials the chance to operate with officials from different countries and of varying abilities. The standards of officials that attended the tournament ranged from academy youth officials to the experienced FIFA and English equivalent of Premiership officials.