Foster puts Vero Beach on the national map for soccer

VERO BEACH — Hobart Soccer Complex will be on display in late May as a host site for the US Club Soccer’s National Cup IX southeast regional tournament.  Lasting from May 28-31, the event is expected to fill up to 2,000 hotel rooms and bring in over $1 million to the Vero Beach area.

Fraser Foster, the Executive Director of Indian River Soccer Association and the driving force that brought the event to Vero Beach, said hosting the tournament places Vero Beach in the company of cities many times its size and population.

“People will begin to recognize us as a prime place to play soccer tournaments,” said Foster, who hails from Sheffield, England.  “Vero Beach is listed on the US Club Soccer Web site next to big cities like Dallas, Phoenix and Denver.” Foster, who’s lived in town for just 14 months, said that Vero Beach was able to land the big event on the strength Hobart’s superior tournament set up.

“Our facilities here are great,” said Foster.  “Hobart is special because have everything in one area.  We have 8 fields in one venue, and they all have electronic scoreboards.  For people who want to host tournaments it’s really ideal.”

Foster said that U.S. Club Soccer ultimately chose Vero Beach to host the southeast region of the National Cup IX for three main reasons.

“They needed a venue in the south,” said Foster.  “They sent one of their representatives to make sure everything here was suitable.  We discussed their requirements, and decided Pointe West would host four additional fields.”

“They researched hotel availability, and they liked that Vero Beach is centrally located to airports in Melbourne, Orlando, and Palm Beach.  First and foremost, though, the quality of the field was the most important factor.  We have a great facility — in fact, it’s a bit of a sleeping giant.”

Getting an assist in helping Foster set up the tournament was Susan Hunt, Director of Tourism for the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce.  She expects more than 100 boys and girls teams to attend the regional tournament.

“This will put Vero Beach on the map as a sports venue,” said Hunt.  “Indian River County is positioning itself as an ideal sports destination.  We offer first class venues for baseball, softball, soccer, golf, football, swimming, fishing, and polo.  Weather here is ideal for sports year-round.”

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