NEW YORK (Monday, May 3, 2010) – One of the nation’s most successful grassroots soccer initiatives returns to fields across America this summer, as thousands of soccer players of all ages and from all walks of life will again lace up their cleats to participate in the eighth edition of MLS Futbolito, Major League Soccer’s official 4-v-4 tournament. The 13-event national tour, presented by Panasonic, kicks-off in Miami on Sunday, May 23, 2010 in celebration of this World Cup summer.
MLS Futbolito, the largest touring Hispanic event hosted by a U.S. professional sports league, is a series of all-day events targeting the League’s growing multicultural fan base and hosted by the local MLS team.
“MLS Futbolito represents a bridge that connects the soccer community around the country to our League and our clubs,” said David Wright, Vice President of Partnership Marketing, MLS. “Entering its eighth year, MLS Futbolito has become a well-known and highly anticipated event where soccer is celebrated by the entire family.”
Approximately 50,000 people, between participants ages 6 to 55 and spectators, attended MLS Futbolito 2009 across 13 markets from coast to coast. Highlights included the event in Foxborough, MA, held in conjunction with the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium that took place on the same day as the Revolution’s SuperLiga match against Santos Laguna. This event included a record-breaking 208 teams, making it one of the most successful MLS Futbolito events in its history. Each participant was able to play in at least one match on the grounds of Gillette Stadium, making it an unforgettable experience for participants and their families. In 2010, Futbolito will once again take place at Gillette Stadium on July 10.
Univision, a league broadcast partner, and their popular sports show, “Republica Deportiva”, Univision’s sports lifestyle program on Spanish-language television in the U.S., will broadcast its fourth consecutive live annual show from the Miami MLS Futbolito event to officially kick off the 2010 grassroots series.
Soccer legends and TV personalities who have assisted and participated in MLS Futbolito in the past include former World Cup legends Marco Etcheverry, Teofilo Cubillas, George Weah, Carlos Valderrama, Mauricio Cienfuegos and Noticiero Univision’s lead anchor Jorge Ramos.
MLS Futbolito will continue to work with the League’s community outreach initiative, MLS W.O.R.K.S., in supporting their initiatives such as Active Bodies Active Minds, a soccer-centered initiative that provides reading and fitness resources to motivate and reward children for being mentally and physically fit.
In addition to MLS Futbolito presenting sponsor Panasonic, associate level partners include adidas, Degree Deodorant, Fox Sports en Español, Glidden Paints, Makita, NAPA Auto Parts, Pepsi, The Home Depot, Visa, Volkswagen and Xbox 360.
For further information about MLS Futbolito, visit the event’s official site: www.MLSFutbolito.com. Below is the 2010 MLS Futbolito schedule, including park addresses, as well as the official competition format and registration information.
2010 MLS Futbolito Schedule
Sunday, May 23 – Miami
Kendall Soccer Park
8011 SW 127th Ave.
Miami, FL 33183
Saturday, June 5 – Dallas
Pizza Hut Park
9200 World Cup Way
Frisco, TX 7503
Saturday, June 19 – San Jose
1776 Educational Park Dr.
San Jose, CA 95133
Saturday, June 26 – Los Angeles (Hosted by LA Galaxy)
4264 Padua Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711
Saturday, July 10 – New England
1 Patriot Place
Foxborough, MA 02035
Saturday, July 17 – New York City
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
111 54th Ave.
Flushing, NY 11365
Saturday, July 31 – Chicago
6100 W. Fullerton Ave.
Chicago, IL 60639
Saturday, August 7 – Washington D.C.
18031 Central Park Circle
Boyds, MD 20841
Saturday, August 14 – Columbus
1818 W. Broad St.
Columbus, OH? 43223
Saturday, August 21– Philadelphia
Showalter Middle School
1100 W 10th St.
Chester, PA 19013
Saturday, August 28 – Houston
11225 Forbes Rd
Houston, TX 77075
Saturday, September 11 – Los Angeles
(Hosted by Chivas USA)
Ontario Soccer Complex
2200 E. Philadelphia St.
Ontario, CA 91764
Saturday, September 18 – Portland
Location to be confirmed*
*Locations to be confirmed and announced in the coming weeks.
Competition Format and Registration Information
The 4-v-4 tournament is open to players of all ages, abilities and affiliations. Team rosters can consist of up to seven players (four field players and three substitutes) and each team will play in round-robin action, with the possibility of advancing to the single-elimination championship playoff.
Teams registered for the competition will be divided according to age groups and competitive levels with winners in each division receiving prizes. In addition to participating, each registered player will receive a ticket to an MLS match (in applicable markets), and the chance to win prizes from the sponsors. There will be $3,000 in cash prizes ($2,000 for first place and $1,000 for second place) for adult premier.
More information on the competitions and events in both English and Spanish can be found on the official web site for Futbolito: www.MLSFutbolito.com. Teams can register for competitions, obtain all rules and regulations and learn about the competition dates and locations. Additionally, interested participants with questions can call toll-free at +1-888-MLS-FUTBOLITO. The entrance fee is $150 per team for those competing in the Adult Premier Division and $120 per team for all other participants.