SOCCER NATION EXPO 2010 WOWS THE CROWDS
February 26, 2010
Something for Everyone at Largest Free Soccer Expo in the World
Coaching clinics were taught on Soccer Nation Expo's "Center Pitch" area, featuring world-class coaches such as Oscar Gil of Club Atlético Boca Juniors, former U.S. Men's National Team and MLS head coach Bob Gansler, LA Galaxy assistant coach Dave Sarachan, FC Cologne U8-U15 director of coaching Klaus Pabst, USSF National Staff Instructor and women's game pioneer Jan Smisek, Chivas USA U18 Head Coach Sacha Van Der Most, James Parry of the Liverpool FC Youth Academy, and Jeff Tipping, Director of Coaching Development for the NSCAA.
Coaches who signed up online or at the door for the VIP Coach Pass received badges which gained them access to special VIP seating for the clinics, as well as entrance to exclusive VIP classroom sessions and panel discussions featuring many of the coaches named above, along with USC Women's head coach Ali Khosroshahin and UC Santa Barbara Men's Head Coach Tim Vom Steeg. Parents of players looking to expand their soccer horizons towards the collegiate level, as well as club coaches and league VIPs, were provided with several free college recruiting seminars held by John Wilson of the National Collegiate Scouting Association.
For the third year running, there were a host of exciting 5v5 games on hand at Soccer Nation Expo as the US Futsal and Nike Five held the 2010 Southwest Futsal Regional Championship. Teams in six different brackets - 3 boys', 2 girls' and one adult men's bracket - played a series of preliminary games through both days of the Expo, and then the top two teams in each bracket faced off in a deciding championship final on Sunday. (To see results from the 2010 Southwest Futsal Regional Championship,click here .)
The key word was "fun" this year, and Soccer Nation Expo certainly delivered on it as several areas were offered to show visitors designed to delight every member of the family. This included kicking sand onto the show floor as Copa Cabana Beach Soccer allowed players the opportunity to try out the increasingly popular beach version of the sport for themselves. Velocity Sports Performance was on hand as well to let players stretch their abilities in a series of specially designed SPARQ training tests.
Have you ever played human foosball? Well, visitors to Soccer Nation Expo got the chance to try out this life-sized version of the popular tabletop game. Kids also got a chance to take a shot at running through an inflatable obstacle course. Members of the popular Futboleros group, sometimes referred to as the "Harlem Globetrotters of Soccer," were also on hand to thrill the crowds throughout the weekend with an astounding array of juggling tricks. Visitors to the Futboleros Skill Zone were also allowed to compete in special "Trick-Off" contests each day of the Expo, with prizes going to the winners of the contests. (To see a video from one of the "Trick-Off" contests,click here .)
Nike Soccer+ was there to present skills demos and provided a challenge area for players who wished to test their shooting accuracy, with the winners each hour competing against each other on the Center Pitch. Across the way was the Nike Shoe Trial area which, as ever, proved to be a popular hangout for those taking the "try before you buy" approach to shopping for new boots. For professional soccer nuts, Chivas USA and the LA Galaxy each had a very noticeable presence at the Expo, each offering games, contests and autograph sessions, which included players (and Cal South alumni) such as Jonathan Bornstein and Sean Franklin. U.S. Women's National Team midfielder and Olympic gold medalist Tobin Heath also appeared at an autograph session in the Nike Soccer booth.
Visitors were allowed to tempt their taste buds as they went by the Cuties, Jamba Juice and General Mills booths, as these companies handed out samples of delicious treats throughout the run of the Expo. If you stopped by the Cuties booth, you could also take part in a peeling contest featuring the company's lip-smacking little Clementine oranges.
Those on the search for new gear were provided with ample opportunities at Soccer Nation Expo as booths from over 100 exhibitors were on hand, featuring the latest in soccer gear, fashion and a wide array of products. Some of these exhibitors included Nike, Time Warner, Herbalife and Fox Soccer Channel, whose own Nick Webster, Eric Wynalda and Temryss Lane of Fox Football Fone-In stopped by to shake hands and give out autographs.
Finally, if you were one of those proverbial early birds, you would doubtless have been one of the first 500 attendees in line each day who received a special goodie bag. It certainly does pay to be early at Soccer Nation Expo!
So, if you love soccer, you've just got to join us at next year's Expo in Long Beach! That's right… you heard it here first! Soccer Nation Expo 2011 has already been locked in for the Long Beach Convention Center on the weekend of February 12-13, 2011. Coaches, clinics, special guests, exhibitors and contests will be announced throughout the year leading up to the show, so please keep checking www.SoccerNationExpo.com for updated information.
We'll see you at Soccer Nation Expo 2011!