For the third year, Kendall will play host, Nov. 30-Dec. 1, to the Miami Soccer Festival, South Florida’s only weekend competition for both boys and girls youth teams (ages 12 and under).
The event annually attracts thousands to fields at Kendall Soccer Park, 8011 SW 127 Ave., where the U.S. version of Soccer Five was established and built in 2009 with proportionately reduced size fields for the fivemember team play.
New this year is the Youth Sports Championship Cup for older kids ages under 9 (U9) to under 12 (U12), according to Edith Torres, Miami-Dade Parks Department. The department actively assists in the Florida Youth Soccer Association-sanctioned tournaments.
In addition, one of Miami-Dade’s longtime soccer coaches will be honored with a presentation to a winning team of the “Lou Confessore Cup” in U5 and U8 categories.
Confessore, named to two Florida soccer organization halls of fame, has coached boys teams at the Coral Estates School since 1962, carving out a legendary halfcentury career promoting youth soccer in Miami-Dade and statewide.
Registration is underway for four divisions of play that include boys and girls in age groups 5-6, 7-8, 9-10 and 11-12 with fees ranging from $50 to $150 per team.
The competition begins Saturday, Nov. 30, for U9 and U12 teams brackets at 9 a.m., followed by U5 and U8 teams at 10 a.m. They will play until 5 p.m.
On Sunday, Dec. 1, teams continue in championship rounds until closing at 4 p.m.
A primary attraction for soccer families and fans is Soccer Village that again will provide a showcase of soccer equipment and area organizations, as well as food and special treats from Soccer Locker, Publix, Kendall Toyota, Buffalo Wild Wings, West Kendall Baptist Hospital and other event co-sponsors.
Local bands provide a continuous musical background on stage while special entertainers roam the crowd demonstrating soccer skills, tricks, and attempts at record performances along a Soccer Walk of vendors.
“We’re expecting the biggest crowds yet as the tournament continues to attract teams from throughout the entire South Florida area,” said Alan Georgeson, president of Soccer 5 Foundation.
A volunteer steering committee for the event includes Georgeson; son Scott Georgeson, president of Soccer 5; Allison Diego, director of Business Development and Advocacy for Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation; George Parrado, region manager, Miami-Dade Parks; Renato Salazar, president, Pinecrest Premier Soccer and TotalBank; Chris Roberts, general manager, Kendall Toyota; Maj. Chris Carothers, Miami Dade Police Department, and Seth De Kanter, CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings of Miami.
For inquiries about vendors and co-sponsors, call Alan Georgeson at 305-393-5230. Registration and team sign-up details are available from Scott Georgeson at 305- 965-9855 or online at www.miamisoccerfestival.org