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@CenturyV_FC Boys Showcase Taking Things To Next Level For #PghSoccer

It’s been a common practice for many years for area club programs to provide young soccer players with aspirations to play at the college level with opportunities to showcase their skills and abilities to college coaches through small-scale events held at their own facilities, with numerous regional teams to provide competition.
In just two years, Century United soccer club has taken things to the next level.
With Larry Fingers as the driving force, Century United has created a mid-winter College Soccer Showcase that has far exceeded anyone’s expectations – even his own – in just two years.


Cool Springs facility will play host to Century United’s College Soccer Showcase this weekend (photo courtesy Cool Springs) 

After the completion and opening of Cool Springs Sports Complex in the South Hills, Century United, a tenant of the new, dazzling facility, decided to go all in to create a showcase that has quickly snowballed into an event that will attract top clubs and a significant number of college coaches to Pittsburgh this coming weekend.
“After having 45 coaches/schools here last year (2016), we are anticipating that there will be coaches from 70 schools here this weekend,” said Fingers, who serves as Century United’s Director of College Recruitment.
This year’s Boys soccer showcase hosted by Century United will be held at Cool Springs this Saturday and Sunday, February 11 and 12, featuring some of the top boys soccer clubs on the East Coast and from the Midwest. With the success of the 2016 event on the boys side, Century United will also be hosting a girls showcase at Cool Springs the following weekend.
“This provides us with an opportunity to bring quality, high-level soccer to our backyard,” said Fingers.
“The collection of talent we’ll have is remarkable. Most of the teams will have players that are already highly sought after (NCAA) Division I caliber players, and even some U-20 national team pool players will be here this weekend.”
In its first year, in 2016, the Showcase schedule included games on Saturday evening and all day Sunday, but this year’s slate is to include games most of the day Saturday and Sunday.  The games at Cool Springs this weekend are open to the public.  (For more detailed schedule, visit Century United’s website.) 
The showcase will feature a captured audience of college coaches from more than six dozen schools — many NCAA Division I — that Century United can accommodate with an isolated viewing area above the field looking down on a full sized indoor field at Cool Springs.
“Many showcases this time of the year are still being held outdoors, so having a facility like Cool Springs, that provides for a full-sized field indoors, but also an isolated area for the coaches to watch all of the action is a great way to give a lot of coaches what they want — an intimate and authentic way to watch prospective players,” said Fingers, who also serves as head coach of boys soccer team at Canon-McMillan High School.
Century United’s ’99-’01 boys teams will be the only local teams that will be taking part in this year’s games, as they’ll be part of an elite field of elite including Columbus Crew SC, PA Classics program that has produced U.S. National player Christian Pulisic, Baltimore Celtic FC (MD) that currently has players in U.S. National U-20 team pool and more.
“It’s disappointing that we had to turn away teams this year, and quite frankly, it has already grown to what we can accommodate at Cool Springs,” said Fingers.
As previously mentioned, this is not an unprecedented effort by local clubs to host college coaches, as Century United and most of the other soccer clubs in our region have hosted showcases over the years, some in different times of the year and to varying audiences of players and coaches.
Since 2014, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds Academy has also hosted an Annual college showcase weekend at Highmark Stadium and other clubs such as Beadling FC will also be hosting top-level teams with their own showcases (see upcoming schedules below).
“Western Pennsylvania is currently geographically stuck between two areas in our country that have so much talent — Eastern PA, New Jersey and Maryland — and on the other side we have Ohio. What’s nice about this showcase is that we’re able to bring players from all these areas to this event and can cater to coaches and players to foster a lot of networking,” added Fingers.
“For soccer in our area, it’s a boost to have this many coaches be exposed to our facilities and provide opportunities for players to be seen on a pretty big stage.”
“It’s going to be a great weekend.”
Editor’s Note: I’ll be looking forward to catching some of the action on Sunday, and meeting with with numerous college coaches — and will have more to share next week.  



Century United’s Boys Soccer Showcase – Sat/Sun Feb. 11 & 12, Cool Springs 
Century United’s Girls Soccer Showcase – Sat/Sun Feb. 18 & 19,  Cool Springs
Beadling Boys and Girls Showcases (U15-U18) –  Sat/Sun, Feb. 11 & 12 – Southpointe 
Beadling Girls College Showcase – Sun., Feb. 18 – Southpointe 

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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