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MLS game has one big change

Annual charity soccer game will pit Chivas USA against developmental team at College of the Canyons

Posted: January 28, 2009 9:45 p.m.
Updated: January 29, 2009 4:56 a.m.
 
For the second consecutive year, CD Chivas USA of Major League Soccer is coming to Santa Clarita to play an exhibition benefit for the Michael Hoefflin Foundation.

The event takes place March 1 at 5 p.m. at College of the Canyons, and Chivas is pitted against the Ventura Fusion.

It’s the first time in the event’s three-year history that the game will not feature two MLS teams against each other.

“It came down to scheduling conflicts, and we weren’t able to get another MLS team to be in the same area as Chivas at a time that would work out for us,” said Scott Schauer, executive director for the Michael Hoefflin Foundation. “We think that we’ll get a lot of people from the Ventura area to come up and support the cause though.”

Previously, MLS teams coached by Schauer’s close friend Sigi Schmid had played in the event, but Schmid’s new team, the Seattle Sounders, weren’t able to make it.

Ventura, in its second year in existence, recently played the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 1-1 tie in an exhibition.

Still CD Chivas USA, owners of a 12-11-7 record and a playoff appearance in 2008 MLS play, bring plenty of talent to the field, such as U.S. national team defender Jonathan Bornstein.

“We think it should still be a good game, but the reason people will come out is to support these families dealing with cancer,” Schauer said.

The highlight of the event, Schauer said, will be the introductions when each player walks out with a child fighting cancer.

“It’s a special moment to see the players come out with the kids,” Schauer said. “To see how excited they are to be coming on the field with some of the best athletes in the world is great.”

Last year, Bornstein came to Santa Clarita to promote the event, and there are plans for a member of Chivas to come to the area in February.

More than 3,000 people are expected to attend the game, and Schauer said he expects the event to raise $20,000 to $30,000.

“This is a chance for people to support a great cause and also see some world-class soccer,” Schauer said.

Tickets are currently available, priced $15 for adults and $10 for youth.

For more information on the event, visit www.mhf.org.

kdamore@the-signal.com

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