A million-dollar, winner-take-all prize will be on the line next summer in a new 7-on-7 soccer tournament to be held in North Carolina.
The tournament — known simply as The Soccer Tournament — will be run by TBT Enterprises, the group that founded The Basketball Tournament roughly a decade ago. That event started as a 32-team, 5-on-5 tournament with a winner-take-all $500,000 prize and has since grown to 64-team, $1 million event that attracted top talent from all over the world and has been broadcast by ESPN.
Now the group is applying the same concept to soccer.
Among those involved is former United States international Clint Dempsey, who is serving as an adviser and will manage Team Dempsey, one of the two teams already set to participate.
“I came from a pickup soccer culture, from a culture of taking people on,” said Dempsey, the United States’ joint leading career scorer, “and this is something that promotes that and hopefully opens the door for some people to take their game to the next level and chase their dreams.”
The tournament will employ a format similar to the World Cup: 32 teams in eight groups of four with three group matches per team, then a 16-team, single-elimination knockout phase. The maximum field dimensions will be 65 yards in length and 45 yards in width, and matches will be played with 18.5-by-6.5-foot goals. The event will take place over a four-day period in June 2023 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.