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Mexico's U17 national team to play here March 31
YUMA, ARIZONA - Soccer fans from both sides of the border will have a chance to see Mexico's stars of the future compete in a hometown venue as this sun-drenched city kicks off its first Yuma Invitational Cup March 31 at Yuma's Veterans Memorial Stadium.
In the doubleheader format, Mexico's U-17 team will compete against Yuma's best of the same ages at 7 p.m., while the 5 p.m. opening game matches Yuma's U-23 standouts against a traveling all-star team from Palm Springs and San Bernadino, Calif.
Tickets for admission to both games are $20, with kids age six and under admitted free. Tickets are on sale at Big 5 Sporting Goods March 3, 10, 17 and 24 only, at Top of the Line Auto, RSD Refrigeration and Sam's Club on March 9, 16 and 25 only, or at the stadium on game day beginning at 1p.m.
"This is huge for Yuma because it brings the highest level of the game here, but also showcases how much homegrown talent we have," said Jamie Nicewander, soccer coach at Yuma's Kofa High School. "This will put the Yuma area on the map for soccer both as a venue and as a producer of great soccer players."
The game is being hosted by the South West Arizona Youth Soccer Academy (SWAYSA), which will offer a soccer skills clinic for youth ages 9-17 at the stadium beginning at 2 p.m. on game day. Taught by coaches from local high schools and Arizona Western College, the skills clinic's $25 cost includes admission to the Invitational Cup games along with a t-shirt and soccer ball.
Built in 2007 as a cooperative project of Yuma Union High School District and Arizona Western College, Veterans Memorial Stadium offers seating for 5,000 fans and state-of-the-art facilities for players, fans and media. The stadium is located at 7150 W. 24th St., with easy access from Interstate 8 at Araby Road. The stadium hosted the El Toro Bowl, the national junior college championship game in "American football", in December 2011.
"To see this level of play in a college-quality stadium is a unique opportunity for soccer fans in our region," Nicewander said. "The weather should be beautiful and it's a great opportunity for a family sports weekend in a friendly, welcoming town."
Proceeds from the event will benefit local youth soccer programs from SWAYSA and other organizations, along with school and college soccer programs. SWAYSA is committed to providing a professional and positive learning environment for youth players that allows for improvement in all aspects of the game, both individually and as a team. SWAYSA's goal is to pursue the highest quality youth soccer while teaching respect and promoting a love of the game among players, coaches, parents and the community.
Sponsorship opportunities for the 2012 Yuma Invitational Cup are available, contact SWAYSA President Lester Favish (928-581-8097, firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
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