Eighty youth teams from the region are heading to Chester and Wilmington this weekend for the 2024 edition of the Main Line Friendlies.
Launched in 2015, the Main Line Friendlies are an intentionally small showcase event that gives youth players a chance to play in front of college coaches. It will be held this year at the new WSFS Bank Sportsplex by Subaru Park in Chester and Chase Fieldhouse in Wilmington.
“It’s an opportunity for players to showcase themselves in a small and intimate setting,” said Shane Rineer, Director of Tournaments and Events for C2 Sports. “Being a former college coach myself, it’s been fruitful, and probably one of the most successful recruiting opportunities I have had, because coaches actually get an opportunity to sit down and watch a team play versus going from field to field.”
Rineer started the event when he was a coach at Haverford College and while the event has grown and is now under the banner of C2 Sports, it’s retained the intimacy.
Some 100 college coaches attended the event last year.
Boys teams will each play two games on Saturday at the two sites followed by the girls games on Sunday.
“Just the visualization of it, it’s gonna’ be awesome,” Rineer said of the WSFS Bank Sportsplex. “I think having three fields right back-to-back right along the river, access to inside the stadium for concessions and restrooms, I think it’s pretty cool.”
Youth tournaments will be a regular feature of the new facility that plays hosts to the Philadelphia Union Academy, Union II and first team training. Phase one of the facility was recently completed and future development of the site will include a fieldhouse and an academy building.
The Philadelphia Union Development U19 squad will be among the teams playing on Saturday. They play Hex FC Dominion 2006 boys at 9 a.m. and Sporting PA 2005 boys at 4:05 p.m.
Manhattan SC and Steel United Virginia are among the clubs out of the area sending teams and Western Reserve Academy in Ohio and FCGB of Maryland are sending girls teams from outside the area.
The full schedule of matches is available at Main Line Friendlies – Full Schedule.