Youth Soccer News: LAFEST Youth Futsal Tournament to Grace The Home Depot Center
Youth tournament is part of charity soccer event benefitting Mia Hamm Foundation, Grassroot Soccer and Futsal Across America.
Futsal is acknowledged as a key factor in the success of such great players as Pele, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Ronaldihno, as well as many international teams. The five-a-side game, which is the only form of indoor soccer sanctioned by FIFA, provides players with incredible skill development as well as non-stop fun and action. Now futsal will be a part of efforts to help grow the game across the country.
LAFEST, the Los Angeles Film and Entertainment Soccer Tournament, will include a youth futsal tournament in the festivities on March 24, 2013, at The Home Depot Center. The day will also include a 5v5 entertainment industry soccer tournament, a celebrity soccer game and a youth soccer showcase. Proceeds from the industry tournament and celebrity game will be donated to the Mia Hamm Foundation and Grassroots Soccer and proceeds from the youth futsal tournament will go to Futsal Across America.
Since its development in Uruguay in the 1930, futsal (from Spanish fútbol – soccer – and sala – indoor/room) has become a key training element around the world, especially in South America. While the game began in Uruguay, it was in Brazil that futsal truly came of age. Today it is one of the fastest growing sports, even in America. This year US Youth Futsal will present its first FUTSAL I.D. camp to identify talented players who might one day qualify for the U.S. Futsal National Team.
The LAFEST Youth Futsal Tournament is open to teams at the U8 through U12 levels. All teams will play three 25-minute group matches, followed by single-elimination playoffs. Registration fees are $175 per team, with a maximum 10 players per team. Space is limited, and interested teams are encouraged to register right away at www.lafest.net.
LAFEST was formed by the partnership of the New York Film and Entertainment Soccer Tournament (NYFEST) and the Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra Celebrity Soccer Challenge. The event brings together soccer players, families and fans of both the beautiful game and the entertainment world. In its two years, NYFEST has brought together over 800 players and hundreds more fans at historic Pier 40 for a day of healthy competition and family fun.
Among the list of stars of both pitch and screen who have taken part in NYFEST are U.S. Soccer stars Landon Donovan, Heather O’Reilly, Alex Morgan, Cobi Jones, Alexi Lalas and Abby Wambach. Other well known athletes involved have included Kobe Bryant (NBA), Tony Hawk (skateboarding), John McEnroe (tennis) and Steve Nash (NBA). From the entertainment world have come the likes of Orlando Bloom (Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean), Seth Meyers (Saturday Night Live), Josh Hutcherson (Hunger Games) and Elisabeth Shue (Hollow Man and Leaving Las Vegas).
One of the non-sport highlights of the day will come at halftime of the celebrity soccer challenge. Through the dedicated work of Be the Match and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, several bone marrow transplant recipients and their families will meet their unrelated donors for the first time. Recipients will have the opportunity to tell their stories and explain how the unselfish donation of a stranger changed their lives. After the match attendees will be able to sign up with the National Marrow Donor Registry at a special booth.
Bone marrow donation is an issue that is close to Mia Hamm, whose brother Garrett Hamm died in 1997 from a bone marrow disease. In his honor, Hamm organized the Garrett Game, which was re-launched as the Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra Celebrity Soccer Challenge in 2008.
For more information, visit www.lafest.net.
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