Who will be the Ultimate Soccer Player? Even just to participate is a dream come true. Join World Cup soccer stars (who know what it takes to make it as professional soccer players) when they take to the soccer fields in San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles. You might get identified by an MLS scout, you might become the Ulitmate player -- but you absolutely will have a blast. You will even get a free ticket to see a LA Galaxy game!
Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy have joined with Innovative Health Solutions LLC (IHS), makers of H2O Overdrive and H2O Overdrive HYDRATETM, to take the H2O Overdrive Ultimate SoccerPlayerTM and Ultimate Soccer GoalieTM Tournaments to a new level.
The competition was created by former U.S. Men’s National Team and National Soccer Hall of Fame members Paul Caligiuri and Thomas Dooley to encourage youth players to hone their one-on-one skills. With the addition of LA Galaxy, the rewards of participating have just gotten even better.
While soccer is a team sport, at the core of competition are numerous one-on-one match-ups every game. It might be forward versus goalie or attacker versus defender, but it still comes down to two players fighting to win control of the ball. In the H2O Overdrive Ultimate Soccer PlayerTM competition two field players will go for three minutes on a small field, each attempting to score more goals on the other. The H2O Overdrive Ultimate Soccer GoalieTM will pit two goalkeepers on a field slightly larger than an eighteen-yard box, again in a three minute battle of shots and saves.
"True, soccer is a team sport,” says Caligiuri, who earned 110 caps with the National team, “but it is packed with one-on-one face offs. For this reason, it is extremely important to practice and perfect the art of taking on a player one-on-one and learning to defend against a player one-on-one.”
Caligiuri knows well the importance of taking on an opponent one-on-one. It was his ability to beat a Trinidad and Tobago defender that allowed him to make the “shot heard ‘round the world” that gave the United States a victory to move into the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy.
"Players will be individually tested,” says Dooley, who scored seven goals and earned 81 caps with the National Team. “They'll have to prove their striking, dribbling, defending and goal tending skills. This is not just any competition. This is the ultimate challenge; a one-on-one battle to prove that you are the best."
Understanding that youth teams are always in need of new equipment, Caligiuri and Dooley, along with H2O Overdrive, have added a twist to the competition. While individual players were already receiving participation awards and prizes at the top level, teams can now also benefit from having players take part. The H2O Overdrive Ultimate Soccer PlayerTM and Ultimate Soccer GoalieTM Tournaments will now reward teams through a registration contest.
The Basics above and the Specifics below
In this new contest, teams with the most registered players at each level (for example, U-14 Females, U-14 Males) will receive two portable soccer nets and five professional-grade soccer balls. There will be one winning team at each level, so as many as twenty teams (U-14 through U-18, male and female divisions, field player and goalie) could walk away with new equipment.
In addition, the teams of the winning competitors will receive four portable nets, fifteen professional-grade soccer balls and a professional-grade ball bag.
“When we told LA Galaxy about our plans for the H2O Overdrive Ultimate Soccer PlayerTM and H2O Overdrive Ultimate Soccer GoalieTM, they were eager to roll up their sleeves and jump in,” said Randy Olshen, cofounder of IHS.
“As far as sponsors go, LA Galaxy really is the perfect partner. They are right in the thick of the soccer world, and have really helped us set a standard for soccer competition in the US.”
With the addition of the LA Galaxy to the sponsorship team, a free ticket for one of the team’s matches at The Home Depot Center has been added to the event T-shirt and swag bag stuffed with prizes that each participant receives.
As players move up in the competition, the rewards get even better. LA Galaxy Academy scouts will be on hand at the semifinal and final matches to look for exceptional talent.
Semifinalists will be treated to a catered lunch and be awarded trophies and special prizes from sponsors to reward their efforts.
Finally, all winners and runners-up will be presented on the field during the September 1 LA Galaxy match against Vancouver Whitecaps.
If all this were not enough, the male and female winners from each age category of the H2O Overdrive Ultimate Soccer PlayerTM and Ultimate Soccer GoalieTM will have a chance to meet a member of the LA Galaxy. During an exclusive meet-and-greet, youth players will have the chance to ask questions, get autographs and pose for photos.
The H2O Overdrive Ultimate Soccer PlayerTM and Ultimate Soccer GoalieTM Tournaments kick off on Saturday, June 2, at Coronado Cays Park in Coronado, Calif. The competition then moves on to Orange County, San Bernardino, and other parts of Southern California before concluding on the fields of UC Irvine on the weekend of August 11-12.
Next year the H2O Overdrive Ultimate Soccer PlayerTM and Ultimate Soccer GoalieTM Tournaments expect to expand, eventually covering the entire United States. “As the competition expands, the recognition and prestige of those placing in the competition and their teams will magnify,” says Caligiuri. “In short, this tournament is going to explode.”