Puma Champions Cup hits Rock River region

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) ---- The largest soccer tournament in the Midwest does a bicycle kick into MercyHealth Sportscore Two on Saturday.

Partnering with the Rockford Park District, the Rockford Raptors youth soccer league and the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau welcome the Puma Champions Cup series. In its 20th year, the tournament's two weekends make it the largest soccer event held in the Rockford region with an estimated 27,000 attendees, which is expected to have an economic impact in the area of approximately $1.8 million.

"It gives us the opportunity to showcase our city, our towns, in the area. Rockford, Loves Park, all the areas. People come into town and see other things that they could do, not only soccer, but other things they could do, the museums, areas that they otherwise might not have seen before, and hopefully in the summer, they'll come again,” said Louis Mateus, General Manager, MercyHealth Sportscore.

Close to 700 teams from all over the Midwest and parts of Canada participated in the competition, attracting college coaches to scout and recruit players.