SOCCER NATION EXPO 2013 SCORES BIG AT LOS ANGELES CONVENTION CENTER
12,000 Soccer Fanatics Fill South Hall on Feb. 16-17
Friday, February 22, 2013 (Los Angeles, CA) - The Los Angeles Convention Center came alive this past weekend with the sounds of ricocheting balls, referee whistles and excited soccer fans, as the latest edition of Soccer Nation Expo took place on February 16-17, 2013. Over 12,000 attendees filled the South Hall of the convention center on Saturday and Sunday as Cal South, the official state association for youth and adult soccer in Southern California, held its annual
celebration of "the beautiful game," featuring scores of top coaching and playing talent, exhibitors and special interactive areas.
Soccer Nation Expo 2013 celebrated U.S. Soccer's Centennial, and visitors were greeted at the front entrance by a massive wall display with a timeline featuring the history of U.S. Soccer and some of its notable players. Two prominent Cal South alumni who have starred on the U.S. National Team - Alex Morgan and Cobi Jones - towered over the heads of show attendees from the columns lining the entrance.
Expo visitors had a chance to collect autographs from many famous soccer stars such as Marcelo Balboa (former U.S. National Team player and newly enshrined Cal South Hall of Famer), Andres Chitiva (C.F. Pachuca), Clint Mathis (retired MLS and U.S. Men's National team star), Jose Vasquez (formerly of the LA Galaxy), Gwendolyn Oxenham (former Duke player and star of the film Pelada), and Todd Dunivant of the LA Galaxy.
Soccer Nation Expo was also the home of the 2013 Adult Futsal Tournament, presented by Toque Futsal, Sport Court and Fold-A-Goal. After two days of rather intense action, two championship teams prevailed: LA Galaxy Soccer Center in the Men's Division; Hotspurs FC Yellow in the Women's Division. Teams from Long Beach Futsal ended up as finalists in both divisions.
Interactive highlights from Soccer Nation Expo 2013 included:
• The Cal South booth, where attendees could have their photos taken with the actual Women's World Cup trophies won by the U.S. Women's National Team in 1991 and 1999;
• A miniature soccer stadium in the LA Galaxy area where players could take part in 3v3 competitions and other games
• The Sports Authority SKLZ team were on hand to show visitors how to step up their training and also held head-to-head obstacle course competitions
• Futboleros held constant juggling clinics throughout the show, and also had small-sided competitions inside their "Ultimate Soccer Arena" cage.
• Recreational players got to take part in games and skill sessions on the AstroTurf Rec Pitch, with some sessions run by representatives of Manchester City of the English Premier League.
• A radar gun area run by Cal South where participants to see how hard they kick a goal in an open competition against everyone at the show.
As always, Soccer Nation Expo was free to the general public, but there were also a large number of participants who attended the show to take advantage of the coaching clinics which were held upon the expo's visual centerpiece, the AstroTurf VIP Coach Pitch. The massive indoor field featured exclusive clinic seating accessible only to purchasers of a VIP Coach Pass, which also gained each coach exclusive access into various classroom coaching sessions in the meeting rooms
in the hall above the show floor. The list of world-class clinicians and speakers for the 2013 Expo included:
• Ian Barker - NSCAA Director of Coaching
• Tony DiCicco - former U.S. Women's National Team coach (1999 World Cup & 1996 Olympic gold medal
• Laura Harvey - Seattle Reign head coach and former Arsenal LFC head coach
• Romeo Jozak - Head of Technical Development for the Croatian Football Federation and Academy Director of GNK Dinamo Zagreb
• Hans Westerhof - Sporting Director for C.F. Pachuca
• Alex Williams and Gavin Makel - Manchester City of the English Premier League
• Pat Noonan - L.A. Galaxy Assistant Coach
Soccer Nation Expo 2013 also featured over 100 exhibitor booths available at the event, featuring a wide variety of soccer and sports-related products, gear and equipment, product sampling, and other consumer goods and services.
A number of other administrative soccer meetings took place at Soccer Nation Expo, including the Cal South State Referee Committee Symposium, social media and PR discussions for tournament directors and league administrators, and a special presentation featuring Jillian Ellis, U.S. Soccer Women's Technical Director. On Sunday, February 17, Cal South held their Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Annual Business Meeting (ABM).
Following the Expo on Saturday night, February 16, the Cal South Awards Banquet was held in the Gold Ballroom of the JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. Live. Over 20 awards and honors were given out during the night's festivities, which included the naming of Cal South alumnus Marcelo Balboa and longtime adult soccer stalwart Stanko Bilaver to the Cal South Hall of Fame.
News and details about Soccer Nation Expo 2014 will be announced in the coming months on both www.calsouth.com and www.soccernationexpo.com.