Ex-American star Caligiuri optimistic about future of game in US 

While the Giants will be on the road in San Diego visiting the Padres on July 16, AT&T Park will be transformed into a soccer pitch playing host to two of the world’s most popular club teams.

Manchester City FC, which just won its first English Football Association Cup title since 1969 in May and competes in the rugged English Premier League, opposes popular Mexican team Club America as part of the World Football Challenge.

Paul Caligiuri, a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame who played a prominent role in helping the United States reach its first World Cup in 40 years in 1990, talked about what it will mean to have the two elite clubs showcased in America at a news conference in San Francisco on Tuesday.

“Having these two talented clubs play here in the United States will only help the sport continue to grow and gain interest here in this country,” said Caligiuri, the man responsible for the shot dubbed, “Shot heard ’round the world,” when he scored the only goal in the United States’ World Cup qualifying win over Trinidad and Tobago on Nov. 19, 1989.

Caligiuri, a former midfielder, sees soccer growing into the mainstream, but admits it still needs more attention within the country.

“There is no doubt we have some of the best athletes in the world here in this country, so there is no worries in that department,” Caligiuri said. “However, we have to [mentor] the youth in terms of understanding soccer.”

Rezin Marketing President Peter Moran showed nothing but excitement, gushing about the stadium the match will take place at, as well as bringing top-level soccer back to San Francisco.

Moran said ticket sales have been “very good” since they were put on sale, and doesn’t see this as the last time he’ll have his hand in an athletic event in The City.

“Working with the AT&T Park officials and bringing this game to San Francisco has been nothing but a great experience,” Moran said.

Club America vs. Manchester City

WHEN: July 16, 5 p.m.
WHERE: AT&T Park
INFO: www.worldfootballchallenge.com

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