It’s no surprise soccer fever is high right now, with the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team still competing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. In Denver things heated up Saturday when approximately 840 Colorado soccer players of all ages, abilities, and affiliations participated in MLS ¡Futbolito!™, Major League Soccer’s official 4v4 tournament.
Bringing fast-paced soccer action to communities across the country, MLS ¡Futbolito!™ took place at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on 24 scaled down fields of approximately 20×30 yards. Roughly 120 teams of up to seven players (four field players and up to three substitutes) were divided in to 9 groups according to age and competitive levels. Teams played in round-robin action, with the possibility of advancing to the single-elimination championship game with winners in each division receiving prizes. Delta Dental of Colorado sponsored the Denver event by having the Tooth Fairy hand out Smile Bags and take photos with players and fans.
In 2003 Major League Soccer launched Futbolito as a national, grassroots soccer festival targeting the League’s growing multicultural fan base. ¡MLS Futbolito!™ is hosted nationally by eight MLS clubs, including the Colorado Rapids.
The Rapids had a regular season match against the Vancouver Whitecaps Saturday night at the Park. After a heated day of competition, tournament participants and their families were invited to stay for the evening game, which the Rapids won, 2-0.
The tournament was part of the 12th edition of the largest touring Hispanic event hosted by a U.S. professional sports league. The tour opened Saturday, June 21, hosted by the LA Galaxy in Bell Gardens, California. It continued in Colorado on Saturday and will take place in Chicago, Washington, DC, New York, Houston and Dallas before concluding in Pomona, California on Saturday, August 23rd.
¡MLS Futbolito!™ works with the League’s community outreach initiative, MLS WORKS, in supporting their initiatives such as Active Bodies Active Minds, a soccer-centric program that offers fitness resources to inspire and reward children for being mentally and physically fit.