FOLEY – Snap Soccer and Foley Sports Tourism have long shared the mission of growing the game of soccer. The Gulf States Showcase, set for this weekend, is a huge part of their dedication to …
FOLEY – Snap Soccer and Foley Sports Tourism have long shared the mission of growing the game of soccer. The Gulf States Showcase, set for this weekend, is a huge part of their dedication to helping young players extend their careers beyond high school.
Since 2018, the Showcase has brought boys and girls club soccer teams to Foley to play while also bringing in college coaches to scout talent. Snap Soccer’s Operations Manager Zack Touchstone said the event has grown year to year, but they don’t want to register more than about 100 teams so that each player has the opportunity for quality looks from visiting coaches.
This year, teams are coming from as far as Texas, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky. An estimated 50 coaches are visiting from schools including the University of Alabama-Huntsville, the University of Auburn-Montgomery, the University of South Alabama, and the University of West Florida.
Touchstone said each player is given the opportunity to provide information on themselves that all coaches will be able to access. It makes the entire process of getting seen even easier because coaches get to know the vital stats of a player, but also get to see them in action.
“Events like the Gulf States Showcase are truly the best way to get in front of a college coach,” Touchstone said. “We always tell players to make sure and fill their profiles out online. Coaches see this and can understand if it's a good fit.”
City of Foley Executive Director of Leisure Services, David Thompson, said helping players continue on their sports journey is a core piece of what Foley Sports Tourism tries to accomplish.
“The kids that come to the Showcase, may one day visit our fields again for a major collegiate event like the Sun Belt Women’s Soccer Championship,” Thompson said. “We want their journey to always include Foley whether it’s their first game or their 500th. It’s incredible to be able to witness the continued growth of these players.”