Building off the rise of the widely popular The Basketball Tournament, the inaugural edition of The Soccer Tournament, or “TST” for short, was a smashing success in 2023.
Competing against teams from around the globe, compiled of current and former professionals from world famous clubs like Borussia Dortmund, West Ham, and Wrexham, plus collections of players with MLS or U.S. national-team experience like Chris Wondolowski, Brad Evans, and Nick Rimando, players in the seven-on-seven tournament battled for the winner-take-all $1 million prize.
The tournament features a number of intriguing rule quirks, most notably the implementation of “target score time” (which, creatively, shortens to “TST”), which sees every game end on a walk-off goal regardless of the score. This format received nearly universal praise for its ingenuity, which attracted additional attention.
Newtown Pride FC, a team hailing from Newtown, CT, won the inaugural tournament and took home the cash prize in 2023. For the coming year, there should be even more attention on the competition now that the world has been exposed to its unique flavor. For its second year, TST will be adding a few additional features that will attract further attention from fans around the United States and the world.
When and where is TST 2024?
The second edition of The Soccer Tournament will be held from June 5-10 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.
WakeMed Soccer Park was the site of the inaugural TST tournament in 2023, hosting 32 teams that competed across a group stage and knockout stage in the hopes of snatching the $1 million cash prize. The winner took home the entire purse, while the other 31 teams went home empty-handed.
This year, the original tournament will increase from 32 teams to 48 teams, requiring the increase in length from three days to five days of competition. June 5-6 will see the group stage contested, with 32 of the 48 teams qualifying for the knockout stage, which will play out from June 7-10.
TST to add a women’s tournament in 2024
In addition to the main tournament, TST will add a second competition in 2024, adding a women’s-only tournament that will also feature a $1 million cash prize for the winner.
Eight teams will contest the women’s bracket looking to become the first-ever winner of that competition.
“We are thrilled to add a third event to our portfolio and to have it be our highest stakes competition ever,” said Jon Mugar, founder and CEO of The Tournament. “This instantly becomes one of the highest stakes events in all of women’s sports, with the only thing standing between teams and one million dollars being four exceptional hours of soccer. This will attract some of the most talented players and clubs from around the world.”
In 2023, both men and women were allowed to compete in the main competition. Most notably, a team comprising mostly U.S. women’s national-team veterans participated, which garnered significant attention. Women will still be allowed to compete in the main competition alongside the men if they wish, but the women’s tournament will feature restricted participation.
“I’m incredibly excited to be a part of TST’s inaugural women’s tournament,” said former U.S. Women’s National Team star Heather O’Reilly, who was part of the USWNT side that competed in 2023. “Their commitment to a $1 million prize for both men’s and women’s players is incredibly important in our ongoing fight for equal pay. This event will be a great addition to the women’s sports landscape, and I can’t wait to take part in it with some of my former national-team teammates.”
What teams will compete in TST 2024?
As of this publication, no teams for 2024 competition have yet been announced.
Check back to this post for more updates as they become available.
Who won TST 2023?
In 2023, 32 teams competed in the inaugural TST competition, with the winner taking home the entire $1 million purse.
The tournament was a thrilling affair, with Newtown Pride FC emerging victorious. They won the championship game in a low-scoring 2-0 victory, which was different from most of the high-scoring competition.
Newtown Pride FC comprised current semi-professional players from the club with the same name, which competes in the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA).