When Soccer America magazine was gathering information to rank the top youth soccer tournaments in the country, a trend started to develop -- the same tournament kept appearing at the top of every category: Disney’s Soccer Showcase.

The youth tournament held annually in December at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando shut out the competition, earning the No.1 ranking in each of five categories for both boys and girls competition: best tournament competition, best tournament organization, best tournament facilities, best tournament showcase and best tournament destination.

The rankings were determined by a survey Soccer America conducted of approximately 300 leading youth coaches from around the country. The results can be viewed in the August edition of the magazine.

"The Soccer America rankings conducted by the coaches naming the Disney Soccer Showcase as the number one youth tournament in the country was welcomed news," said Patrick Dicks, soccer program manager with Disney Sports Attractions. "It reinforced our belief that a strong and dedicated team of professionals can achieve great things."

Paul Kennedy, managing editor of Soccer America, said he was not surprised by the results of the survey.

"You can pretty much look at the list of teams a tournament has and see its importance if you're familiar with the quality of the teams," Kennedy said. "In the case of the Disney's Soccer Showcase, one great advantage it has is timing. It falls in the Christmas to New Year's period when most clubs have their players available."

Dicks said there are many other factors that contribute to the tournament’s success as well.

"A team of proven, dedicated sports professionals who have passion is the number one reason for its success," he said. "Our world-class facilities and dedication to offer the best playing surfaces is another winning factor. And the support we receive from the Walt Disney Company and its array of world-class theme parks, resorts and recreational facilities provides an exhilarating experience for our guests. When you take all of these things into consideration we really have a great winning formula."

Even before the Soccer America rankings were released, the success of Disney’s Soccer Showcase was evident in its growth. Starting in 2000 with just 71 teams, the tournament has grown in just five years to more than 400 teams. The tournament has become so popular that approximately 300 soccer teams had to be turned away last year. Similar numbers are expected this season.

Disney’s Soccer Showcase annually includes top boys and girls club teams in 14 age groups (Under-12 through Under-18), as well as an adidas Super Group, which features the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team, US Youth Soccer’s ODP Boys Regional Teams, and renowned international junior squads from as far as Europe and Asia.

Teams that compete in Disney’s Soccer Showcase must meet criteria based on national rankings, previous tournament records, state and regional cup results, and the quality of roster. Teams that do not meet these criteria have an opportunity to join the tournament by finishing as one of the top two teams in their age group in a September qualifier tournament.

Registration for the 2005 Disney’s Soccer Showcase presented by adidas is currently closed. More information on Disney’s Soccer Showcase is available at www.disneysoccershowcase.com. For more information on events taking place at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex please visit www.disneyworldsports.com.