AYSO is getting ready for big year in 2014: our 50th anniversary!
It all started in 1964 when a group of devoted soccer enthusiasts decided that America’s kids were in desperate need of soccer. This group of guys chased their dreams and established the American Youth Soccer Organization out of a garage in Torrance, Calif., with nine teams.
Here we are 50 years later, with more than 50,000 teams and over 500,000 players in AYSO nationwide. To honor our 50th anniversary in style, we created a brand new anniversary logo that AYSO players all over the country will be donning on their jerseys. Here’s a first look at it:
And now that we’ve reached our 50th birthday, it’s time to celebrate! Here’s a little bit of what those year-long festivities in 2014 will entail:
A Float in the Rose Parade®
This isn’t the first time AYSO has had a float in the world’s most watched parade – we also had one in the 1979 Rose Parade® (pictured above).
This float is especially exceptional however, given that it’s kicking off our 50th anniversary in style. On Jan. 1, 2014, the float will roll down the streets of Pasadena, Calif., with 700,000 watching along the parade route and 43 million television users watching nationwide.
AYSO is partnering with the City of Torrance and the theme of the float will be “Torrance, the Birthplace of AYSO.”
We hope that you’ll tune in to catch the AYSO float on its route – and there’s more ways for you to get involved! We’re asking all AYSO families and friends to host a “Breakfast at the Rose Parade®” party on New Year’s morning to enjoy this wonderful 50th anniversary milestone.
The Biggest Pickup Game on Earth
On Saturday, May 3, 2013, AYSO is aiming to have the world’s biggest pickup soccer game ever! AYSO Regions all across the country will be hosting a one-day SoccerFEST in their communities.
So what’s a “SoccerFEST”? A quick explanation: SoccerFEST is a one-day soccer extravaganza where players of all ages are shuffled and put on brand new teams with new teammates. Kids end the day with several fun games under their belts and a bunch of new friends.
If your family is interested in participating (AYSO players and non-AYSO players are welcome) stay in touch with your local Region for more information.
The National Games Return to the Birthplace of AYSO
For AYSO’s anniversary year, the National Games return to our birthplace: Southern California. With nearly 500 teams expected to attend, two cities will be hosting the AYSO fun: Torrance and Riverside.
Whether or not you’re participating in the National Games, make sure you stay connected to AYSO! There will be a lot of fun contests, prizes and National Games coverage on our Facebook and Twitter feed.
A Great Year to Get Social
Social media is going to be a huge part of the 2014 Anniversary celebration. Next fall, AYSO will debut our “Thank You Project” which will give AYSO players, volunteers, families and alumni a chance to say thanks to a person that’s made a difference in their lives.
Learn more about AYSO’s 50th anniversary mascot, Sunny Slice: