There’s one question organizer Jim Wade keeps getting as more than 200 soccer teams from the Northeast head to Maine this weekend for the Coastal Summer Challenge.

“Everybody wants to know where the local place is to watch the World Cup,” said Wade. “Or they ask ‘Can you put a big Sony Trinitron up?’ “

Soccer is on the brain this weekend as 210 teams descend on Bowdoin College and the Wainwright Complex in South Portland for two days, for the tourney considered a final tune-up for the U.S. Youth Soccer Region I tournament next month in West Virginia on July 1-6.

Teams hail from Maine, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and New Brunswick, Canada.

The tournament is hosted by Seacoast United, but will feature teams from every premier club in Maine, including many of the 14 teams that qualified for the Region I tournament.

“It’s a very competitive tournament,” said Chris Kane, the co-tournament director. “Some very good teams are going to be playing in it, especially the older teams.”

The format is round-robin with each team getting at least three matches. The winners will advance to the championship round Sunday.

As part of the weekend, teams will be invited to watch high-level women’s soccer at Bowdoin College when the Seacoast United Women’s Professional Soccer League team (0-3-1) will host the Maine Tide (0-3) today.

The league is made up of 50 teams from around the country, which together make up the largest women’s soccer league in the world.

The league is designed to showcase the top college players.

Today’s match will be the home opener for the Maine Tide, which includes five University of Maine players, and players from four other college programs in Maine.

“We had a very competitive game this last Sunday,” said Cheryl Stokes, the president of the team. “We’ve got a great team and I look for the balance of the season to be a little more effective with our ability level.”

Coach Hailey Blackburn said the team is improving as players acclimate to one another.

“It’s just a whole new team of players who never played with each other,” said Blackburn. “We pretty much had to start from fresh and it took us until the last game to get in a groove We’re looking forward to this weekend to take advantage of two close-to-home games.”

Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at:

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