Following in the successful footsteps of the $1 million SuperLiga, Montgomery League Soccer (MLS) has announced the launch of its very own "SuperDuperLiga," featuring Montgomery County's top four U-12 sides and four of the leading Mexican U-12 teams. A purse of $1 million has also been announced. MLS Rumors Rumors has obtained an advance copy of the MLS press release, reprinted in its entirety below:
BETHESDA - Montgomery League Soccer Commissioner Dan Graber together with the Commissioner of the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Juvenil Division (Mexican Soccer Federation's First U-12 Division), Jesus de Maria, today announced the creation of SuperDuperLiga™, the preeminent youth club tournament in Montgomery County that will not only decide the best in, well, Montgomery County and Mexico, but will also award the heftiest winner's purse in North American youth soccer history.
Eight clubs - four each from the top flight leagues of Montgomery County and Mexico - will vie to determine a singular champion of, well, Montgomery County and Mexico, actually. The format, modeled after the SuperLiga, will include a group phase and a knockout phase with all games held at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, MD. SuperDuperLiga will be played between August 24 and September 29, 2008. In addition to the prestige of capturing this continental honor, the club that emerges as SuperDuperLiga champion will take home $1 million dollars in prize money, an unprecedented prize purse in North American soccer history.
"We are proud to announce the creation of SuperDuperLiga, which will quickly become one of the most prestigious international youth club soccer tournaments held in the United States," Graber said. "This tournament presents the most authentic competition between, well, Montgomery County and Mexico, and will bring out the passion and pride of fans in our hemisphere."
While competitive criteria will determine participants in future editions of SuperDuperLiga, the eight teams in the inaugural 2008 edition of SuperLiga were selected on an invitation-only basis: reigning Mexican U-12 champions Club America Juniors, Copa Sudamericana Juvenil holders CF Pachuca U-12, DF U-12 champion Monarcas Juniors and Chivacitas Guadalajara from Mexico; four-time Montgomery County champion Chevy Chase United, Western County champion FC Poolesville, two-time County Champions, Potomac Galaxy and the 2006 County champions, Germantown Dynamo will represent Montgomery County.
"Given the great soccer rivalry between the MoCo and Mexico, we strongly believe SuperDuperLiga will be a great international soccer tournament," said De Maria. "Featuring the top teams in both leagues, SuperLiga will become an instant favorite among the millions of soccer fans in Mexico and the several thousand in Montgomery County."
In a separate statement to MLS Rumors Rumors, however, Graber did note that, "Of course, if one of our MLS teams actually wins the SuperDuperLiga, they'll only receive $1,500 worth of coupons to the Applebee's Neighborhood Grill at 21048 Frederick Rd in Germantown. Applebee's: It's a Whole New Neighborhood! You see, MLS is at financial risk in this tournament. We have to incur the costs of renting out the SoccerPlex. We are producing [for local access TV] some of these games. We have to fly teams in from Mexico. We are at risk. Part of the equation when you are taking in risk is to manage with your expenses and the winning team receiving the lion's share of the prize money is not something much different than in the actual SuperLiga."