The Great River Classic has undergone four name changes since 2005 when the tournament started. The event started in Quincy, IL. as the Quincy Soccer Classic with designs to be a highly competitive 8-team event. However, due to strong interest, the event expanded to 16 teams and the beginning of a great event started to take shape.
The event was in Quincy for 3 years before relocating to the St. Louis area and became the Gateway City Soccer Classic. The St. Louis area made more sense because it had more fields and was an easier trip for many of the teams, primarily the teams that flew into St. Louis to participate.
The purpose of this event and mission so to speak is, "Where the Best of the Best come to play." We truly believe that no other event can rival what we have put together. In our 18-year history, we have welcomed teams from 21 different states and annually have numerous nationally ranked teams taking part in our event. In 2007, we had 4 teams that at one point were #1 in the nation. In 2007 and 2008 we had the national runner-up and in 2009, National Champion St. Thomas Aquinas participated in our event.
The Classic has been mentioned by news agencies across the nation and has been covered in person since 2009 by Sheldon Shelor from Topdrawersoccer.com.
The pedigree of the teams is unmatched. The participants have combined to win over 100 state titles and 10 National Championships.
In 2023 the event relocated to Bettendorf, IA. The combination of natural grass, synthetic turf, and an indoor field on site is the drawing card for the event. The tournament is directed by
Eric Stratman (Right) and Matt Longo (Left).
From Sheldon Shelor with Topdrawersoccer.com
"On the events side, more than 50 teams from nine states will be at the Gateway City Soccer Classic, which is the premier testing ground for fall boys teams."