Futbolito A Hit in Chester
Futbolito, the official 4-v-4 tournament of Major League Soccer, arrived at Showalter Middle School in Chester, PA this past Saturday. It was the first time Chester has held the tournament, which is the largest grassroots event hosted by a U.S. professional sports league. With the arrival of Philadelphia Union, it won’t be the last.
Futbolito was originally conceived as an outreach to the expanding Hispanic communities within the United States. The crowd on Saturday, however, contained a mix of all ethnicities; further proof that the sport continues to grow in popularity. Futbolito’s first ever stop in Chester was extremely successful, featuring nearly 1,000 attendees and 64 teams spread amongst all age groups.
The event was sponsored locally by Crozer-Keystone Health System and Premier Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Philadelphia Union’s first Keystone Founding Partners. The competition is sponsored nationally by Panasonic, another one of Philadelphia Union’s Keystone Founding Partners.
Those in attendance enjoyed a surprise appearance by Philadelphia Union Manager Peter Nowak. Young and old alike waited in line for their chance to speak with the former Polish National Team captain and two-time MLS Cup champion. Nowak was thrilled to answer questions and sign autographs for the enthusiastic crowd. He was joined by many other members of the Union front office including President Tom Veit.
Chester residents were also out in full force, underscoring the excitement of many in the community for the arrival of soccer. Music, food, drinks, and other activities complemented the exciting soccer matches taking place throughout the day. All in all, a great experience for the entire community.
“This event involves the community,” said Veit. “If the event wasn’t here, the field would be empty and people wouldn’t come. People who have never been here before will leave with a good impression of Chester.”