With a backdrop of a 10-piece mariachi band playing live, Univision’s play-by-play announcer highlighted spirited efforts with humorous insights, audience interviews and the triumphant “Goal” shout after every score.
And that was just for the celebrity soccer match between the Morgan Hill Police Department and a team comprised of the TV anchors, radio DJs and personalities from the Univision family of companies.
The festival-like atmosphere rarely ceased at the Morgan Hill Outdoor Sports Center, where the Morgan Hill Youth Sports Alliance hosted the first Bay Area Copa Univision 5 vs. 5 soccer event over the weekend.
The tournament featured 40 teams of eight players each from around Silicon Valley, with divisions and brackets in age groups ranging from 9 years old to adults.
This format had teams playing with five per side during the games on a small field with large goals to promote scoring.
The highlight of the event was the featured celebrity game. All three local Univision TV stations and all four radio stations were covering the event, which was cheered on by a large audience, ranging from participating Copa teams, staff from team Univision, community leaders – including Morgan Hill Mayor Steve Tate – and the many families watching their teams.
At halftime, the scoreboard showed the police had a slight edge over Univision 5-2, a lead partly preserved behind the defensive play of Dave Swing, who made some remarkable saves as goalkeeper.
The second half saw a determined Univision team, led by the General Manager of Univision San Francisco, Raul Rodriguez, who orchestrated a comeback to tie the score just as head referee Dave Kaeini blew the final whistle and declared the need for a penalty kick off.
The tension was felt by all, and in the end, it was Shane Palsgrove’s goal that was the deciding factor for the MHPD, winning in penalty kicks 4-3.
Palsgrove said, “Our entire team had a blast and we can’t wait for the next game.”
Jeff Dixon, President of the Morgan Hill Youth Sports Alliance who also runs the Outdoor Sports Center, said, “It was a beautiful day and the kids had a lot of fun. We hope this event grows and becomes a major summer event for many years to come. Univision was spectacular to work with and we hope this is the first of many events with them here in Morgan Hill.”
n Finals: Boys 10U: Bullets 8, Legend Teal 5; Boys 12U Legends Black 9, Bullets 3; Boys 14U: San Jose FC Chivas Oro 10, West Valley Chavitos 5; Boys 18U: Pollitos United of Oakland 8, Torritos Red 7; men’s open: Legends 16, Vacaville 4.