Sunday, July 1, 2012

STEVE NASH FOUNDATION 5th Annual Showdown in Chinatown 2012

 Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Chinatown/LES, NYC

words/images Judith Ecochard

NBA players, USA and International Soccer (née football across the Pond)---plus a few brave men...delighted a sold-out, on the field crowd-with a rather lively (imho)- 8v8 'beautiful' game... under the blue skies of lower Manhattan...this past Wednesday night.

The annual match, organized by- and to benefit- the non-profit (registered USA and Canada, fyi),  Steve Nash Foundation...that raises money to assist "under-served children in their health, personal development, education and enjoyment of life."

We got there early---before the crowds and players---as the weather was so picture was a pleasure just to be outdoors...
Always thank: the SPONSORS....
very popular-"functional water" for kids and teens-WAT AAH! (Mayor Bloomberg would approve-even super-sized)

The MVP award...Gucci Watches
media sponsor KickTV---on YouTube...with highlights. 

Custom made-image grabbed from the terrific NYTIMES Play Magazine cover (by Finlay Mackay -published Oct. 2007). We would grab it too but fear copyright infringement. This guy must be an attorney.
pre-game warm-ups ---

crowds gathered outside the playground-to greet players and to watch the game... not crazy though-like that fütbol match we went to in Buenos Aires.
Players arrive on the team bus...together...after all ---this is a 'friendly.'
Major points go to this guy who clearly played soccer in HS or something...Marc Stein...ESPN senior writer covering the NBA...SCORED THE FIRST GOAL.  Olé, Olé, Olé, Olé...

A 2 time MVP NBAer point guard---dedicated soccer  person/player of interest...lookin' relaxed as he walks onto the pitch...

signed autographs from the get go...and  continuously...

Elton Brand - Philadelphia 76ers-Power Forward

Danny Green -San Antonio Spurs-Shooting Guard/Small Forward...maybe on that court, but one of the tallest on this one.

not playing, but posing with fans, Thierry Henry (MLS-N. Y. Red Bulls striker--former Arsenal/Barça/French National Team)

Mike Dunleavy, Jr.-Milwaukee Bucks  NBA

Salomon Kalou-Chelsea, Premier League-and on our EPL FF Team, yeah!

Emerson Boyce-Captain of Wigan-England

Mehdhi Ballouchy-New York Red Bulls Midfielder

Maurice Edu-Rangers/Scottish Premiership/USA National Team
What the Pros wore---Pumped Up Kicks-mostly all by Adidas...a sponsor-and provider of the very coveted, white and green performance tees/navy shorts on the players...Nike was not the fav here.

we left off the identifying humans in case someone's messing up/with their contractual obligations.

Sport For Good-an international foundation "Using the power of sport as a tool for social change"

Robbie Rogers- Leeds Unites and USA National Team (l) and Stu Holden-Bolton Premier League England and USA National Team (r). We were uncharacteristically too shy to ask these players questions (too wowed) but then we listened to the ones this guy asked (in the middle)...geez. 

The Italian contingent---impressed all.

 Enrico Zanus and Mike Guarino

Emerson Boyce...and pal...

T.H. very in demand....

PRE-GAME TEAM PICS...guy in the yellow tee is the official...who kept the game flowing...with only one yellow card. (Joke one).

team huddles...White-World Team


Marc Stein deft touches

Simone Sandri with the ball...NBA TV and former Seton Hall soccer player

Caralberto (Charlie) Ludi-.Captain of Novara, Italy

Robbie Rogers 'dribbles' past Elton Brand

Jimmy Conrad---yup, scores...

Steve Nash masters two sports, ambidextrously...with Edu

Team USA...

Kalou displayed very agile ball handling ...the keeper was BRAVE (and played well...both sides, imo)



serious...and a tie game up until last few minutes...

HALFTIME---no Madonna (hey, hey)... but better, we thought...players hanging out, signing more autographs...and RED BULLS' dexterous takes on entertainment.
Brand subs out-with a major supporter of the S.N. Foundation
Neurosurgeon, Arvind Ahuja-earned a spot on the World Team...subs in-- for the 2nd half

Robbie Rogers

Steve Nash laces up prior to meet/greets

Thierry Henry chats with fellow team mate. 

Grant Hill (Phoenix Suns) didn't play but showed up and hung out

These kids were like a bunch of modern day The Rascals...with one earning an $500 gift certificate to sponsor Modell's Sporting Goods

pre-kick focus


Another reason to gotta  go to Mo's

waving that certificate around...

Jimmy Conrad-aka Dad in demand

all smiles...

a little guidance...

Courtesy of the Red Bulls...good hand/eye/feet to watch, too...

one arm push-ups, wow!!!

back heel kick

takes off hat...

ball on top

hat on top of ball...he made it look easy

Fans get the 411-"...this is how we do it..."

Kalou with some new BFFs...we think he got some more stateside fans after his game wining goal and assist...LOVE F.C. Harlem tee...

Kalou----reasons to be cheerful


fast---needed a diff shutter speed to keep up


great match-up

FYI...relaxed sidelines on this side of the pitch- participants in a NYC Parks Dept. program-that benefits from the Claudio Reyna Foundation

there he goes....

clearly this would never happen at Old Trafford

major love from the fans

we liked how Sandri DID NOT fall down and dramatically grovel on the pitch in hopes of drawing a penalty after this arm grab from Conrad...

Danny Green has a great sense of humor...
AFTER THE GAME (World won 9-7)...all all we saw of Kalou was pretty much- the top of his he graciously signed even more autographs for fans a few inches short of his height ...

like the 'do

...last minute media interviews...

lively bunch of Italian supporters...