The largest youth soccer tournament in the country started this weekend, with more than 1,000 international teams descending upon the National Sports Center in Blaine for a week of frantic action. With so many teams and so many games to keep track of, there was a need for a resource that would allow participants easy access to schedules and information.
Tourney organizers commissioned Minneapolis web and mobile development shop Tiny Mission to develop an app that would help guide people through the hectic event. This marks the first time the event has been supported by a mobile app, and it has caught on quickly, reaching the Top 60 in the App Store sports category last week before the tournament even started.
The USA Cup app, available for free on iOS and Android, offers a simple interface that allows users to view schedules, score, access maps of the site, get directions, view weather forecasts, find local restaurants and more.
“The best thing is always having up-to-date schedule information in your pocket, as opposed to having to print out all these papers or walking around lost,” says Bekki Freeman of Tiny Mission, a two-person company that offers web and desktop development but specializes in mobile. They’ve been featured here in the past for such projects as RoadTab and Fraser’s Apps for Autism.
The scheduling aspect of the USA Cup app runs through the software provider GotSoccer. Because they didn’t want to have everyone pinging that company’s server constantly, Tiny Mission manually cached all the data, allowing users much faster access. This was one of a few unique challenges they ran into – characteristic of a new venture.
Freeman says they’ve received a great deal of feedback on the app, which has them already thinking ahead to next year’s iteration. One major feature they plan on implementing is the ability to save and track multiple teams (as opposed to just one). Beyond continuing to work with USA Cup, Tiny Mission may start working with other tournaments held at the massive National Sports Center complex.
“We’re always busy, which is really nice,” chuckles Freeman.