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A two-day Miami Soccer Festival with an international flair is expected to bring more than 5,000 participants and visitors to the Kendall Soccer Park complex during the July 30- 31 weekend.
“We’re planning to make this an annual event to attract soccer players, families and teams from throughout the area,” said Scott Georgeson, coordinator and president of Soccer 5 USA, the family organization that established 5-on-5 Soccer venues at the SW 127th Avenue complex during 2010.
Completed four years ago, the Kendall Soccer Park now hosts both daytime and nighttime soccer, including 5-on-5 fields, five full-size soccer fields, a walking trail, stage area, soccer village and spectator bleachers.
Commissioner Javier D. Souto will open the inaugural event that is planned to feature a festive atmosphere of international sports, soccer exhibitions, exotic foods, prominent deejays and live music in addition to field competitions, running for 11 hours each day.
A food court with a dozen vendors will give visitors a taste of native menus from several countries, including Ireland, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad, Brazil, Colombia and Dominican Republic. Sports Grille’s chicken wings and Cuban specialties also will be served.
In addition to soccer action, spectators can enjoy competitions in a variety of specialty events, including live tricks performed by 5-on-5 players, juggling, attempts at individual world records, a soccer walk, and get-in-the-game fitness workouts.
“It’s our way of helping popularize the sport and helping it grow at one of South Florida’s leading soccer complexes,” Georgeson stated, noting that adult, youth and coed soccer teams can compete.
Teams with 7-on-7 players and regulation 11-on-11 compete from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, while 5-on-5 teams will take the fields on Sunday, July 31. Youth teams include ages 9-19; adult, ages 17 and up; coed, 17 to 50. Entry deadline is Friday, July 8, for all participating teams.
Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation Department and its Parks Foundation Program are co-sponsoring the non-profit program that will provide special 25 percent cash donations for each team entering play, Georgeson said.
Sponsors of the event to date include Costco, RedBull, Soccer Locker, Miami Chamber South and the Sports Authority. Additional sponsorships at four contributory levels are available. For inquiries on team entries or festival sponsorship and food court participation, call Georgeson at 1-888-575-2976 or visit the MiamiSoccerFestival.org website.