Soccer’s Next Stars on Display at College Cup – Coming to the Railyards in ‘24 & ‘25
It’s the most coveted trophy in college soccer, and with Sacramento having been selected to host the NCAA National Champions for men’s soccer in 2024 and women’s soccer in 2025, fans can catch a glimpse of the nation’s best in a few short years. Sign up to be the first to receive information about ticketing and more.
Last week, Sacramento Republic FC announced that the new soccer-specific stadium at The Railyards was selected to host the 2024 NCAA Men’s Soccer National Championships and the 2025 Women’s Soccer National Championships, including the Final Four both years. This is. The first time that the NCAA soccer championships will be hosted in the region.
The colossal college fixtures at The Railyards is the first major announced event at the new downtown development. While the matches at the new stadium will be the epicenter of all the action, the surrounding Railyards will be the ideal destination for tailgating, gathering in the supporter’s plaza to taste the local fare Sacramento has to offer and enjoy local craft beers before the nation’s top competition.
For the men’s championship, the 48-team tournament separated into four regions typically begins in mid-to-late November with the final fixture in mid-December. Of the teams in the competitions, 24 bids are designated for the 21 conference tournament winners as well as the Pac-12 Conference, Ivy League and West Coast Conference regular season winners. After the selection committee names the top 16 seeds – all of which receive a first-round bye – the single elimination tournament begins. Both UC Davis and Pacific have three appearances in the men’s NCAA College Cup tournament – with the furthest run for either university being a trip to the second round
For the women’s championship, 28 universities can claim automatic bids by winning their conference tournaments, while the same trio of conferences as men’s also hand automatic bids to the regular season champions.
It’s not uncommon for the top college stars who competed in the College Cup end up as top drafts picks prior to representing their country at the international level. Take Stanford’s Andi Sullivan who was the top pick in the 2018 NWSL College Draft to Washington Spirit after a winning a title at Stanford – and this competition is the chance for soccer fans in Sacramento to grab a ticket and catch a glimpse of the rising stars before they begin their illustrious professional careers.
When it comes to women’s soccer, no school has come close to being as dominant as the University of North Carolina. The Tar-heels have claimed an astonishing 21 national titles while the next closest school – both Stanford and Notre Dame – have three. UNC’s dynasty is an impressive one, but the Chapel Hill university hasn’t lifted the trophy since 2012. Since then, five different schools have won the championship including both Florida State (2014, 2018) and Stanford (2017, 2019) that were two-time title-winners.
Men’s college soccer saw its first dynasty in 1959 when Saint Louis won its first of what would be nine national championships over a 14-year run. Since 1973, the Billikens last championship, a number of new dynasties have the trophy including a squad that won back-to-back titles from 2015 to 2017 Republic’s own Drew Skundrich, Sam Werner and Tomas Hilliard-Arce each played for Stanford and won three titles with the Cardinal together including creating a monumental moment in college soccer when Werner’s double overtime goal against Indiana University.
The future heartbeat of soccer in Sacramento will soon host the nation’s the top men’s and women’s games and be the center the college soccer world for back-to-back years. For more information on the College Cup coming to the Indomitable City or information on The Railyards stadium, be sure to visit MLS2SAC.com.