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Soccer tourney on beach this wknd.

(June 6, 2014) Soccer players will battle in the sand this weekend during the 19th annual Sand Duels Beach Soccer Tournament.

Fields will occupy the beach between Talbot and Second streets in downtown Ocean City as the two-day competition will feature 500 teams going head-to-head from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Derek Wilson, Guru De Eventos for Baltimore-based ASG Events and Promotions LLC, said about 4,000 players are expected to take the fields this weekend.

Wilson said the players are traveling from Maryland and other states including Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and North Carolina.

Athletes participating in coed, boys’, girls’, men’s and women’s divisions will play about 950 games this weekend across four blocks of beach. The U-8 to U-13 boys’ and girls’ youth divisions will hit the sand Saturday and the U-14 to U-18 and adult divisions will play Sunday. Wilson said the age of athletes ranges from 5 years old to about 40.

“We have recreational divisions for teams just looking to come down and have fun playing soccer on the beach [and] competitive divisions for the travel teams looking to compete and win against other teams of their skill level,” Wilson said. “There is also a Men’s Open division where the winning team wins a cash prize.”

Game will be five-on-five. Matches will consist of two 12-minute halves. Each team is guaranteed three games. The winners and runners-up in each division will receive a commemorative Sand Duels Beach Soccer award.

“Some teams use this as an end-of-the-year tournament to do one last fun thing together until they see each other for the fall season,” Wilson said. “For college and adult players, this is a fun way for all of them to play together since they don’t see each other all year. Other teams just like to keep coming back year after year for the good experiences they have had, or to try and win it all.”

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