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Dallas Soccer News - SMU host 2008 College Cup

SMU to host 2008 College Cup

Published 3/7/2007 7:30:29 AM by Dallas Morning News from Dallas, Texas
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The Dallas area's reputation as a premier soccer destination will grow even more in 2008. SMU, in conjunction with FC Dallas, will host the men's NCAA Division I College Cup at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco. The College Cup is the equivalent of the soccer final four. SMU was the site of the women's final four in 2001 and the men's in 2002.

"After hosting two previous College Cups, we are very excited about bringing another national championship event to the Dallas area," SMU athletic director Steve Orsini said. "SMU already offers tremendous collegiate athletic events, and this will only add to what we already provide on the Hilltop."

The two previous College Cups were held at Ford Stadium on the SMU campus. The 2002 men's final between Stanford and UCLA drew 8,498 fans. SMU was unable to host the 2004 men's College Cup after installing artificial turf. The 2008 event, scheduled for Dec. 12 and 14, will be held at Pizza Hut Park, a dedicated soccer stadium that can seat 20,500.

Michael Hitchcock, FC Dallas and Pizza Hut Park general manager, hopes the event will showcase his facility to the NCAA, sponsors and fans. "We'd love for Frisco and Pizza Hut Park to become the permanent home of the College Cup, in similar fashion to Omaha and the College World Series," Hitchcock said.

The College Cup will cap 15 years of top national and international events in Dallas, including the 1994 World Cup, the 1993 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the 2005 and 2006 Major League Soccer Cups, along with the two previous College Cups. The SMU men have built a national reputation, with 13 consecutive NCAA appearances under coach Schellas Hyndman.

"It shows longevity and success on both the soccer performance and in getting people in the community to support the event," Hyndman said of the selection. "It's a great tribute to FC Dallas, which has one of the best stadiums in the country."

Hyndman remembered the support for the 2002 College Cup when Dallas-area soccer clubs purchased thousands of tickets in advance of the event. It also provides additional incentive for the Mustangs in 2008, Hyndman said. An NCAA championship is the only major accomplishment to elude SMU under Hyndman. Now if the team reaches the final four, it will be in their own backyard in front of friends and family.

"It's a great coaching moment," Hyndman said. "You can always use that as another motivator

Label: SMU host 2008 College Cup
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