Sunday, February 14, 2010

Soccer Nation Expo

By Bailey Alexrod (SMBA '11)

Last weekend, a few students from SMBA '11 had the opportunity to volunteer at the Soccer Nation Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The expo is a free event for soccer fans, containing training sessions from coaches and exhibits from vendors showing off their newest soccer products.

As volunteers, we watched over the Southwest Regional Futsal Tournament. For those who do not know what futsal is, it is a version of soccer played on a smaller, hard-court with only five players per side. The ball is also smaller and deflated slightly to reduce the bounce. The tournament was a two day event, with the winner advancing to the Futsal National Championships. There were all age divisions for girls and boys, and it was a very exciting version of soccer to watch. For people that complain that soccer is not exciting enough and doesn't have enough goals, futsal is a great alternative because it is fast-paced with a lot of goals scored.

Another part of the volunteering opportunity was watching over the VIP areas around the center pitch of the Expo. On this center pitch they had informative training sessions by coaches from some of the greatest clubs around the world. These clubs included Liverpool (England), FC Cologne(Germany), Boca Jr's (Argentina), and even a former U.S. National Team coach. They showed attendees different techniques and tactics to improve their skills.

The Expo was a great volunteering opportunity that gave students a chance to network with companies involved in soccer. We look forward to many more great opportunities presented to us through the Sports MBA program.

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