The Football Tournament: The Football Festival is underway as TST brings teams from around the world to Cary to compete for $1 million

CARY, NC (WTVD) — Competitions are underway in Cary as men and women compete for a chance to win $1 million.

The Soccer Tournament (TST) is in its second year at WakeMed Soccer Park, and this year brings more pomp and circumstance than ever before.

Forty-eight men’s teams and eight women’s teams from around the world have come to Cary to play in the tournament.

These teams brought food, drinks and more! Manchester City, for example, brought its newly acquired Premiere League Championship trophy. People lined up Wednesday for a chance to take a photo with the world-famous trophy.

That’s just one of the stands in the fan area that offers off-field entertainment.

“It’s amazing. It’s so much fun to see all these young stars and old stars playing the game,” said Ayush Lanka.

“And to see them playing on fields where we used to play for club teams. So it’s pretty cool,” Baran Narravula said.

LOOK | Former UNC football star Jamie Watson talks to Travon Miles about TST

The tables turned when Travon was the one answering the questions in Cary.

Two local football clubs will participate in the tournament. The women’s NC Courage team is making its first appearance in the tournament and the men’s North Carolina Football Club is returning for the second time.

Many of the men’s team members are former Carolina RailHawks players and have been training for weeks.

“To have the opportunity to play against such a high level of athletes, whether they be indoor players, professional football players, former pros or aspiring pros (is amazing),” said North Carolina Football Club TST General Manger and player Nick Platter .

Ten international teams will travel to Cary to compete in the men’s division. Five more will be added for the women’s division.

There are a number of big names participating in the tournament, including celebrities such as Pat McAfee of ESPN and Cruz Beckham, the son of David Beckham. There are teams made up of international soccer superstars like Sergio Aguero, and even some NFL stars like Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson and JJ Watt.

How the games work

The tournament matches will be a little different from the football most people have seen. TST will be 7 versus 7 instead of the usual 11 versus 11. The matches will consist of two 20-minute halves and then an untimed extra period that will only end if one of the teams reaches a target score.

The target score will be one goal more than the leading team at the end of regular time. So if regulation ends with a 2-1 score, the teams will play for an indefinite period until one of them scores three goals.

However, another quirk of the rules states that after 10 minutes into the untimed extra period, one player is removed from each team. And this continues every 10 minutes until a team reaches the target score.

Local income

The Triangle area will generate a lot of revenue from the tournament as visitors check into hotels and eat out at restaurants.

The event is expected to raise $15 million.

“I think we are both surprised and excited that Cary has been the leader in bringing this event to the area,” said Jocelyn O’Sullivan of the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance.

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