Winthrop soccer is gearing up for the 2011 Manchester Cup to be held at Manchester Meadows on Friday and Saturday.
This is the fifth year of the event that is billed as one of the best college soccer showcases in the spring. Additionally, Lowe's Home Improvement has signed on to be the major sponsor of the tournament for the next two years.
"People who want to see a high level of soccer will want to come out to the tournament," Winthrop men's soccer coach Rich Posipanko said. "Only one game in the history of the tournament has been decided by more than one goal."
This year's field of 10 men's teams includes Winthrop, UNC Wilmington, Old Dominion, South Carolina, N.C. State, Charlotte, East Tennessee State, College of Charleston, Furman and Kentucky. Posipanko calls it the best field to date. All 10 teams have been regionally or nationally ranked.
Old Dominion, ETSU, South Carolina and College of Charleston were in the NCAA College Cup last fall. CofC and ODU both advanced out of the first round while South Carolina had a first-round bye and advanced to the Sweet 16.
Charlotte finished the 2010 season ranked 16th by the NSCAA while ODU and CofC both received votes in the final CollegeSoccerNews.com Top 25 Poll.
Winthrop has added, for the first time, a Lady's Night for Friday featuring four college and four high school teams.
Check winthropeagles.com for a tournament schedule or pick up a copy of The Herald on Friday.
MORE MEN'S SOCCER -- Several former Winthrop players are with pro teams.
Patrick Mitrovich recently signed with the Charlotte Eagles. He is a 2009 graduate and currently in his second year as goalkeeper coach for the men's and women's team at Winthrop.
Mitrovich and the Charlotte Eagles will play their home opener on April 16 against Orlando City at Charlotte Christian Stadium.
Check CharlotteEagles.com for further details.
Daniel Revivo ('09) is in training camp with the Wilmington Hammerheads of the USL Pro League. Revivo spent last year playing in Sweden for Enkoping of the Swedish 2nd Division.
Michael Luk ('10) continues to play in Hong Kong for Sun Hei SC of the 1st Division. He has played in 13 games and has scored 3 goals.
John Gilkerson ('08) who played for the NY Red Bull and Carolina RailHawks is in pre-season camp with the Minnesota Stars (NASL).
Otto Loewy ('09) is in pre-season camp with the New England Revolution (MLS).