NEW YORK (Tuesday, May 17, 2011) – In its ninth edition, ¡MLS Futbolito!™, one of the nation’s most successful grassroots soccer initiatives, returns to city 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 Major League Soccer’s official 4-v-4 tournament, hosted locally by MLS clubs. The national tour, presented by Major League Soccer sponsor Panasonic, kicked off in the Dallas area this past Saturday, May 14 in a successful event hosted by FC Dallas.
Univision, a League broadcast partner, and their popular sports show, “Republica Deportiva”, Univision’s popular sports lifestyle program, will broadcast its fifth consecutive live annual show from the Miami MLS Futbolito event this coming Sunday, May 22, to officially kick off the 2011 national grassroots series.
MLS Futbolito, one of the largest touring Hispanic events 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 clubs. Approximately 50,000 people, between participants ages 6 to 55 and spectators, attended MLS Futbolito 2010 across 13 events from coast to coast.
“Entering its ninth year, ¡MLS Futbolito! provides an authentic and festive platform for MLS clubs and valued partners to interact with passionate fans,” said David Wright, Vice President of Global Sponsorship, MLS. “We are extremely excited about the 2011 ¡MLS Futbolito! campaign. The popularity of the ¡MLS Futbolito! tour is at an all-time high providing great playing opportunities for the entire soccer community.”
“Panasonic is proud to partner with MLS to bring the exciting game of soccer to fans across the US through the ¡MLS Futbolito! program,” said Vic Carlson, vice president of marketing for Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “This program encourages fans to get out there and show us their soccer skills. We hope their experience with ¡MLS Futbolito! will encourage them to keep playing and also cheer on their favorite Major League Soccer players and teams -- live and at home in stunning high definition on their TVs.”
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 Futbolitopresenting sponsor Panasonic, associate level partners include adidas, Allstate, FOX Deportes, The Home Depot, Makita, Pepsi Max, Volkswagen, and Xbox.
For further information about MLS Futbolito, visit the event’s official site: www.MLSFutbolito.com. Below is the 2011 MLS Futbolitoschedule, including park addresses, as well as the official competition format and registration information.
2011 ¡MLS Futbolito!™Schedule
Saturday, May 14 – Dallas (hosted by FC Dallas)
Pizza Hut Park
9200 World Cup Way
Frisco, TX 75034
Sunday, May 22 – Miami
Kendall Soccer Park
8011 SW 127th Ave
Miami, FL 33183
Saturday, June 4 – Los Angeles (hosted by Chivas USA)
11770 Foothill Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 91342
Sunday, June 12 – Houston (hosted by Houston Dynamo)
Houston Amateur Soccer Park
8341 Hall Rd.
Houston, TX 77075
Saturday, June 18 – Chicago (hosted by Chicago Fire)
6100 West Fullerton Avenue
Chicago IL 60639
Saturday, June 25 – New York City (hosted by New York Red Bulls)
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
126-12 Northern Blvd State Rd S
Queens, NY 11355
Sunday, July 10 – Washington, D.C. (hosted by D.C. United)
18031 Central Park Circle
Boyds, MD 20841
Sunday, July 17 – New England (hosted by New England Revolution)
One Patriot Place
Foxborough, MA 02035-1388
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 men’s adult premier.
More information on the competitions and events in both English and Spanish can be found on the official web site for ¡MLS 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.