Crown City Classic ...

Spencer Reidarson, No. 1 in the white jersey, and Juan Marco Kruer, No. 6, move the ball toward the goal during Saturday’s game, July 31, versus Scripps Ranch during the annual Crown City Classic soccer tournament, held at fields throughout Coronado.

For many locals of Coronado, the sight of Soccer games being played at Tidelands Park or the Coronado Cays Park during the weekends of summer is a staple for our small town. But with the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020, those packed both park fields were vacant. 

But fortunately, that would not be the case in 2021. As the much anticipated Crown City Classic made its return after its one-year hiatus, marking the 21st year of the tourney. Put on by the Coronado Youth Soccer League, it is a Class I and III tournament. It is open to USYSA and FIFA affiliated teams and AYSO. The tournament is played on two separate weekends, with the boy’s teams playing this past weekend, and the girl’s team’s set to play this upcoming weekend of Aug. 6-8. 

“It was fantastic to be back,” said tournament director Jerry Ruiz. “For our first weekend of the tournament, things ran extremely well. We didn’t have any hiccups and everyone involved did a great job of help things go very smoothly.”

The efficiency is even more impressive when you consider the sheer size of the Crown City Classic. With Coronado, especially, and San Diego being desirable travel soccer locations, the tournament is always packed, and this year’s tournament is no exception. According to Ruiz over 300 teams, around 120 boy’s teams and 170-plus girl’s teams, will come to the Island to play over the two weekends, with matches being played all over the Island in locations such as Tidelands, the Coronado Cays, and Sunset Park

“We knew we would get a great turnout not only because of the location but because we also knew people were hungry to play in tournaments in California again. So even though we had hoped to get a few more teams, we’re still very happy about the turnout,” said Ruiz.

Along with the large turnout, the tournament was also put together on shorter notice than it had been in years past. As Ruiz told me, they were not given the full green light until June. “There was a lot of work put in behind the scenes, but it was great to have the port and the city work with us to get all the spaces secured for the tourney.”

For the boys this first weekend, there was plenty of competitive play all around. One team in particular stood out, the local Coronado Youth Soccer teams, 2008, placed second in their tournament.

But in my conversation with Ruiz, there was one comment that stood out most about the tournament. It was on the general atmosphere created by all those in attendance and playing. “ It was great to see all the kids out there having fun playing and competing. Just to see so many smiles around, not only at the fields but around town as well, was fantastic to see. I just think it’s special to see so many people out and enjoying themselves.” 

With the first weekend in the books, it’s clear the Crown City Classic has been a resounding success thus far. And with the girl’s half of the tournament set for next week, Ruiz expects another great week. “We had a lot of fun the first week, and we’re really looking forward to next weekend as well.”

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