CHICAGO (August 4, 2009)—Hosted by World Sport Chicago, top youth soccer clubs from around the world and the Chicagoland area met in Chicago this weekend for the 2009 International Cup. The round robin tournament featured Chicago club teams and squads from Germany, South Africa and Nigeria. Nigeria 36 Lions White beat Nigeria 36 Lions Green 8-5 on Sunday morning to win the title. It was the second year the International Cup was hosted by World Sport Chicago, the legacy of Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“World Sport Chicago got involved with the International Cup because it offers a great opportunity to bring youth from around the world together to compete in an Olympic sport,” said Bill Scherr, chairman of World Sport Chicago and director of sport for Chicago 2016. “The tournament allowed youth from Chicago to meet and play with their peers from around the world. Through their shared passion for the game, the athletes were able to better understand and respect each others cultures as well as the game of soccer.”

The opening rounds of the International Cup, played by over 165 youth aged 15-16, were played in Lincoln Park and the championship matches took place at St. Ignatius College Prep. The Lincoln Park fields are situated between the Lincoln Park Tennis Center and North Avenue beach, the sites of the proposed tennis and triathlon competitions, respectively, in the city’s plan for the 2016 Games. St. Ignatius, located on the city’s near west side, is close to a number of proposed Olympic venues. The UIC Pavilion would host boxing, the United Center would have basketball, handball, artistic gymnastic and trampoline, and Douglas Park would be home to the cycling velodrome and BMX track.

As the winners of the tournament, the Nigerian 36 team was taken to the Chicago Red Stars game, the women’s professional soccer team that features Olympians from all over the world, where they participated in halftime scrimmages on the field. They were then presented their trophy from Illinois Youth Soccer as the winners of the International Cup in front of the crowd on hand to watch the Red Stars.

“Chicago has a large number of sport venues in the heart of the city that are perfect for hosting sport competitions like the International Cup,” said Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016. “Being able to compete at such a high level against international competition is a wonderful opportunity for Chicago’s youth and children from around the globe.”

World Sport Chicago has already reached more than 30,000 children through its efforts in the last three years, working with a number of groups, including the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Public Schools and national sport governing bodies, to introduce Olympic and Paralympic sport and create awareness of various programs throughout the city.

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About Chicago 2016
Chicago 2016 is a 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to seek the privilege of hosting the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Chicago. The committee’s board consists of business, civic, athletic, cultural and academic leaders representing Chicago and the surrounding Midwest region. Patrick Ryan serves as the organization’s chairman and CEO.

About World Sport Chicago
World Sport Chicago (WSC) is an Illinois not-for-profit working to enhance the image, awareness and participation in Olympic sports across Chicago and to extend Chicago’s international outreach through and for sport and youth. Focused on promoting the development of recreational and competitive sport to the area’s youth, WSC works closely with Chicago 2016 and Chicago’s 2016’s Athlete Advisory Council (AAC) to provide sport expertise and athlete insight to the execution of these sporting events. WSC intends to aid Chicago in developing a sustainable, international sporting legacy as a real agent of social change for the city. William Scherr, an Olympic medalist in wrestling, is chairman of the board and Scott Myers serves as the executive director.

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