BLAINE, Minn. - 958 teams and about 14,000 players are participating in the Schwan's USA Cup this year in Blaine.
The soccer tournament is coming off what organizers call some of the worst weather in tournament history last year. Heat forced some games to be cancelled. A flag system will be used this year to signify when water breaks will occur for players. Spectators can also escape the heat inside ice rinks at the National Sports Center.
The week-long tournament kicks off with an opening ceremony Tuesday evening that will include an Olympic-style procession of the teams, skydivers and fireworks. Following the ceremony will be the first ever Rock the Cup, presented by PUMA, featuring Top 40 artists Chris Rene and Outasight.
Twenty-two states and 16 countries will be represented in the tournament this year and it will be the first year that the Dominican Republic takes part. There were 4 million visitors to the area for the games last year and they are expecting a similar turn out for this year.
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