As a part of our yearlong 50th Anniversary celebration, the AYSO National Games 2014 is returning to Southern California, the birthplace of AYSO. The National Games will be twice its typical size, hosting more than 7,000 players on nearly 500 teams from across the United States. Due to the large size of this Golden Anniversary event, the Games will be co-hosted by two cities, Torrance and Riverside.
“As a longtime volunteer of AYSO, and a former Director of the AYSO World Games, I can’t imagine a better way to end my term as Mayor than bringing the National Games back to the birthplace of AYSO,” said Torrance Mayor Frank Scotto, who is also a long time AYSO volunteer including serving as chair of the 1994 AYSO World Games.
The Games started as the brainchild of longtime volunteer and AYSO Hall of Famer Mike Michalski (former Area 10B Director from West Hills, Calif.), who wanted to bring AYSO together by creating the largest soccer tournament in the nation. The first AYSO National Games started back in 1988 in Irvine, Calif.
Today, the National Games are one of AYSO’s most popular events, known for its focus on good sportsmanship, competitive play and making new friends.
The fun will start for AYSO players and families at team check-in from June 29 through July 1. Regardless of whether you are in Torrance or Riverside, AYSO’s National Sponsors such as DOLE, Nesquik, FOX Sports, BJ’s Restaurants and other partners and vendors will be there with giveaways, samples and goodies! Former U.S. Women’s National team star and AYSO Hall of Famer Brandi Chastain will be at the Torrance team check-in on Monday, July 30 to sign autographs. Click here for check-in times and a schedule of events.
SoccerFest – one of AYSO’s most loved traditions – will be held on Wednesday, July 2. Players will be scrambled and divided into random teams based on age. At Soccerfest there is no pressure of winning or losing, the only goal is to have fun and meet new people from all across the country.
And don’t forget about the player parties! On Wednesday evening, AYSO invites players, parents, coaches and siblings to Summer Nights, two events that will take place simultaneously in Riverside and Torrance. Castle Park will host the Riverside event and Torrance players will have a day of fun in the sun at Seaside Lagoon. For more information about either location, click here. National Games players are admitted free and there is a small charge for all others.
If you’re looking for something to do on Independence Day, AYSO families will get to enjoy a special Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers game in the evening at a special discounted rate. Click here for more information or to purchase tickets. Remember, AYSO is an Official Sponsor of the 4th of July!
To find out more about the AYSO National Games 2014, and info on everything from what should you pack to things to do while you’re in town, visit the National Games website.