The Medieval Times
The Nation Soccer ExpoWednesday, January 16, 2008 By Armando Valdez, The Medieval Times
Every year soccer companies from around the world come together for a convention called the Nation Soccer Expo. This year Cal-South Youth Soccer hosted the event in the Los Angeles Convention Center. Despite the heavy rain, the annual event rustled up a recorded number of 22,000 soccer fans the opening day (setting a new one-day attendance record for the event) and then an additional 15,000 on Sunday. Perhaps the greatest reason for the large turnout was for the autograph sessions with Mia Hamm, the retired United States Women’s National Team star, and the all-time leading goal scorer in international soccer history. Other big time people that attended the event were CD Chivas USA head coach, Preki, Club America captain, Alfredo Tena, Manchester United Soccer Schools coaches, Alex Weaver and Robin van der Laan, Everton FC youth academy director, Tony Farrell, Stanford men’s soccer coach, Bret Simon, Santa Clara women’s soccer coach, Jerry Smith, and various Cal South Olympic Development Program coaches. Jonathan Bornstein, Maykel Galindo, Jesse Marsch and Peter Vagenas from Chivas USA and LA Galaxy also greeted fans and signed throughout the weekend. The Soccer Nation Expo featured over 125 exhibitors that showcased and demonstrated their latest soccer products, equipment, and technologies, as well as goods and services for active soccer families. The biggest attractions there were Nike, with its huge selection of products and also the Deadly 5 Futsal Tournament. This year Nike hosted an event called The Deadly 5 Futsal tournament. It is a tournament that consists of five players on a team where every move counts. There are a maximum limit of 8 players to every team, free substitutions, no off sides, and also only 20 minutes to beat the other team. Age groups consisted of co-ed and girls teams of under 12, under 14, under 16, and also under 19. It was $100 to register, and winners received an automatic invitation to the United States Futsal National Championship that will be held in July.