L.A. CONVENTION CENTER ROCKED THROUGH THE WEEKEND
To View Fox Soccer Channel Recap of Soccer Nation Expo,Click Here
February 27, 2009 (Los Angeles, CA) - Surely, as a soccer fan of the first order, you were at the Los Angeles Convention Center recently for Soccer Nation Expo 2009. What's that? You weren't? Well, we're sure you had some pretty pressing business that kept you away, but we should clue you in on one clear fact: you missed one great party!
Soccer Nation Expo, Cal South's annual celebration of the beautiful game, landed in the L.A. Convention Center's South Hall on Saturday, February 21 to kick off two amazing days of high-spirited soccer action, education, shopping, networking and just plain fun, at the biggest free family soccer expo in the country. Over 24,000 rabid soccer fans - 14,000 on Saturday and 10,000 more on Sunday - attended the family-friendly and fan-interactive exposition, which featured a little something
for just about any area of interest within the world of soccer.
Attendees were treated to autograph sessions with famed soccer players such as Brazilian superstar and 3-time FIFA Player of the Year Marta, U.S. National Team scoring phenom Abby Wambach, former Mexican National Team players Jorge Campos, Ramón Ramírez, Claudio Suárez and Martín Zúñiga, Chivas USA players Justin Braun, Alecko Eskandarian, Zack Thornton, Atiba Harris, Jim Curtain and Shavar Thomas, the L.A. Galaxy's Edson Buddle and Chris Klein, and several
players from the new Los Angeles Sol professional women's team (with whom Marta recently signed). Marta also took part in a special 4v4 "Kingman" game on Saturday, February 21, with a team of young Cal South players, while a couple of lucky fans won a chance to shoot PKs against Martín Zúñiga, popularly known as "El Pulpo" (The Octopus) for his tenacity in the net.
Coaching clinics were taught on Soccer Nation Expo's "Center Pitch" area, featuring such world-class coaches such as North Carolina Women's head coach Anson Dorrance, former Northern Ireland National Team head coach Lawrie Sanchez, Chivas USA head coach Preki, Everton FC's Tony Farrell, L.A. Galaxy assistant coach Dave Sarachan, U.S. National Staff Coach Rene Miramontes, UCLA Women's head coach Jillian Ellis, 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 Abner Rogers, the recently named head coach of the Los Angeles Sol.
For fast and furious soccer action, there were a host of great 5v5 games on hand at the Nike Five 2009 Southwest Futsal Regional Championship. Teams in each bracket - 5 boys' brackets, 4 girls' brackets and one adult men's bracket - played a series of preliminary games through both days of Soccer Nation Expo, and then the top two teams in each bracket faced off in a deciding championship final. (To see results from the 2009 Southwest Futsal Regional Championship, click here.)
The Nike Shoe Trial area was a popular hangout for those wishing to try their gear out before they bought it, but there were also ample opportunities to expand your shopping experience even further with over 100 exhibitor booths featuring the latest in soccer gear, fashion and a wide array of products.
And 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 Nike 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! Soccer Nation Expo 2010 has already been announced for the L.A. Convention Center on the weekend of January 30-31, 2010. Coaches, clinics, special guests, exhibitors and contests will be announced throughout the year leading up to it, so please keep checking www.SoccerNationExpo.com for updated information.
We'll see you at Soccer Nation Expo 2010!