Rogue Valley Cup returns to Medford for 16th year

Founder Mike Dunn describes the Rogue Valley Cup soccer tournament as "one big soccer party with 10,000 people coming to town."

The 16th edition of the three-day tournament begins Saturday at 8 a.m. and ends with championship matches on Monday beginning at 10 a.m.

The popular Goalie Wars will be held from 8:30-11 p.m. at North Medford's Bowerman Field on Saturday night.

The tournament, the largest annual weekend event of any kind in Jackson County, includes 126 teams representing four states — Oregon, Washington, Nevada and California — and ranging in age from 10 to 19.

The teams will play a combined 360 games in the three days at U.S. Cellular Community Park, North Medford High School, Fichtner-Mainwaring Park and Jefferson Elementary.

This year brings considerable talent to the Rogue Valley.

"We have over 31 gold, silver and bronze medalists from their state," Dunn said. "If you can draw 25 or more, you are doing pretty good. We've been very fortunate to have a strong following and pick up a new following."

The top local teams from the U-19 boys division include the Rogue Valley Soccer Club Blackhawks Reunited, which comprises a mix of outgoing seniors from North Medford and South Medford.

The RVSC Team Ramrod, a third-place finisher last year playing as RVSC United, includes current college freshmen from North and South.

In the U-19 girls division, the RVSC Lazers return after losing in overtime to RVSC FC SO United in overtime of the championship game last season. The squad has college freshmen from North and South, while the RVSC Siege Reloaded features current seniors from North and South.

"I would be surprised if one or both of those teams were not in the finals," Dunn said.

RVSC teams had five champions total in last year's tournament.

Reach reporter Luke Andrews at 776-4469, or e-mail

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