It was Rock Hills $12.7 million, 70-acre Manchester Meadows soccer complex that attracted U.S. Youth Soccer to host its annual championship tournament here.
But its the hundreds of people who have volunteered to help who will make the high-profile, national contest happen.
From July 24 to 29, the nations 60 top youth soccer teams and thousands of spectators will fill the city for daily matches. The championship game for the U19 boys national championship will air on the Fox Soccer Channel.
Several hundred people are donating their time to assist in anyway they can.
Rene Brannan is one of them.
She was part of the organizing committee. Her primary job will be to play host to two teams from out of town.
She will be available to show the teams around and answer any questions they have.
Im hoping to go to the airport to meet them, she said.
To make visitors feel welcome, organizers hope to have a host for each team and guides aboard buses shuttling out-of-towners to and from Manchester Meadows.
We want to roll the red carpet out for these people, Brannan said. We want people to say, when they leave, What a great place.
Soccer runs deep in Brannans family.
Her husband Gary coaches Rock Hill High Schools varsity girls soccer team. Her son Ben played soccer in college and at Northwestern High, where he kicked the winning goal in the 2006 state championship match. Hes now an assistant coach for Northwesterns varsity boys team.
Renes parents-in-law, Ralph and Shirley, were ardent supporters of Manchester Meadows. They bought naming rights to one of the complexs two synthetic turf fields Brannan Field in honor of their grandchildren.
Rene said she and Gary are eager to lend a hand during the tournament, or two, or more.
She wants to watch some matches too.
Im going to be at every one of them as much as I can, she said.
While about 300 people have volunteered , organizers say they need about 100 more volunteers to help during the weekday games July 25-27.
They have enough volunteers for the weekend games.
Finding people who are available from 6 a.m. through the afternoon during the week has been tougher, volunteer organizer Connie Delaney said.
Specifically, the tournament need people to be:
• Field marshals to help monitor crowds and check credentials on the field.
• Ball boys and girls ages 10 to 17 to stand on the sidelines with a ball in case its needed to keep the action going.
• Guides and hosts to offer help to visitors.
Volunteer shifts will last about three hours, but people can sign up for more than one shift.
DeLaney hopes to hear from anyone interested by Tuesday because volunteers must undergo background check before they can get involved.
Rick Rogers, a volunteer referee, said he is thankful for the chance to take part in the tournament.
Its a once in a lifetime opportunity, he said. Its a chance to show off what Rock Hill has done for soccer.
Manchester Meadows is probably one of the best kept secrets in soccer.
Shawn Cetrone 803-329-4072