Over its 34 years of youth soccer history, the USA CUP soccer tournament at the National Sports Center in Blaine has welcomed teams from 70 different countries and 48 different states.
After last year’s tournament, USA CUP Recruiting Director Aaron Schmidt went into the off-season laser-focused on reeling in teams from the final two states who had missed out on USA CUP – Maine and Rhode Island.
The first piece of the puzzle fell into place last November when the Seacoast United U12 boys’ team from Portland, Maine registered for the 2019 event. And then the final domino fell on January 14 when the North Kingstown U10 girls’ team from North Kingstown, R.I. officially registered.
So, let’s back up to state #49, and take a look at the Seacoast United U12 team that will be playing this July in the 35th USA CUP.
The Seacoast United club was founded in New Hampshire in 1992 with two boys’ teams, run out of the home of the founder and CEO Paul Willis. Today, they have grown into a thriving club with multiple branch clubs across Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Seacoast United is a Nike Premier Club and they have a thriving partnership with English Premier League Club Brighton and Hove Albion.
More than just soccer, Seacoast United also fields teams in baseball, softball, field hockey and lacrosse.
The Maine branch of Seacoast United began in 2008 when three Southern Maine clubs combined to come under the Seacoast umbrella.
“Today, in Maine we have more than 50 youth teams covering all levels of ability, with our teams competing in the NEP (New England Premiership) or the NPL (the New England arm of the National Premier League),” said Martyn Keen, Seacoast United Maine’s Assistant Boys’ Coaching Director and Goalkeeper Coach.
“The team that is attending your tournament is our current 2007 boys blue team, one of two teams coached by myself,” continued Keen. “This is my first year with the ‘07 team and I am confident of molding them into a cohesive unit as they transition from 9v9 to 11v11.
“As with most young teams there is still a range of abilities, but we try to play the game the right way and in a sporting manner. We intend to represent Maine in a very creditable way.”