Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall University has been awarded the host role for the 2016 Conference USA Men’s Soccer Championship. The tournament will be played Nov. 9-13, 2016 at Hoops Family Field at Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex.

 

Marshall officially was unanimously awarded the tournament by the C-USA university presidents last week.

 

The tournament currently has a seven-team bracket (of nine schools playing C-USA soccer), and is played on three days over a five-day period (Wednesday, Friday, Sunday). Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, FIU, Kentucky, Marshall, New Mexico, Old Dominion, South Carolina and UAB play men’s soccer in C-USA.

 

“We appreciate the conference’s Board of Directors presenting us the opportunity to host a C-USA Championship, and I’m sure we’ll have the welcome mat out for all the competitors,” said Marshall Director of Athletics Mike Hamrick. “I know the C-USA coaches and teams who have had the chance to visit our great soccer complex in the past two seasons have gone back to their campuses and spread the word about the quality of the facility.

 

“Hoops Family Field was the first of our new facilities made possible by the Vision Campaign for Athletics. The Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex has enhanced not only our men’s and women’s soccer programs, but already has been another boost for C-USA soccer, which is among the best at the NCAA Division I level.”

 

Hoops Family Field opens its third season of Herd soccer in August 2015. The 1,006-seat stadium will be the site of 11 men’s games and eight women’s dates this coming season.

 

Veteran Herd coach Bob Gray, entering his 21st Marshall season and 39th as a collegiate head coach, said the C-USA host role is a major plus for his program.

 

“Needless to say we are thrilled that we will be hosting the 2016 C-USA men’s conference championships,” said Gray, whose 431 career wins rank in the top five among active Division I coaches. “We are looking forward to showing off our beautiful new facility.

 

“The championship game on Sunday is televised nationally on Fox Soccer and will give our university tremendous exposure throughout the country as well as worldwide.”

 

Marshall previously has played host to two C-USA championships in its 10 years in the league. The 2007 volleyball championship was played at Cam Henderson Center – Tulsa won the title over UAB -- and the Herd won its first C-USA football title in the championship game against Louisiana Tech last fall at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

 

The Herd’s last host role for a conference championship in men’s soccer was for the 2002 Mid-American Conference tournament. In 2013, the new Chris Cline Athletic Complex was debuted, which includes the indoor facility (with a 120-yard football practice field), the Jeff Small Track, the Buck Harless Student-Athlete Academic Center, the MU Hall of Fame and the Marshall University Sports Medicine Institute, which is scheduled to open this summer.

 

The 2015 C-USA Men’s Soccer Championship will be played Nov. 11-15, with Charlotte as the host school.

 

The Herd opens the 2015 men’s soccer season Aug. 17 with a home exhibition against High Point. Marshall starts regular-season play Aug. 28 at Western Michigan.