By Dan McLellan
When the first World Cup for arena soccer is held in February 2015, San Diego will be one of four cities to host the tournament, which will include teams from 16 nations.
"The World Cup is special, especially having the first one in the U.S.A," says San Diego Sockers head coach Phil Salvagio, who will coach the U.S. National Team. "It's really good for our sport of Indoor to show the world that indoor players in the U.S. are better than our outdoor teams. We can win this World Cup."
Crowds for arena soccer have been exploding.
The Sockers drew more than 5,400 to their season opener, and the World Cup promises to be the perfect platform to advance the sport even further.
"It's huge," says Kevin Milliken, commissioner of the Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL). "It's just the natural progression of growth to take [arena soccer] to the international level."
Milliken says Salvagio was selected as the U.S. National Team coach because he understands the big picture and business side of a World Cup. Salvagio has also proven he can assemble a winning team.
San Diego has won the PASL championship for four straight seasons, but there are no guarantees the national team will be comprised of predominantly Sockers players.
"I am going to be watching every player that we play against," says Salvagio, who's searching for the best talent available to represent the United States. "Everyone is going to try to beat us and look good."
"The World Cup is special, especially having the first one in the U.S.A."
-San Diego Sockers head coach Phil Salvagio
Things are Going Swimmingly:
The 2014 Socker Girls swimsuit calendar is available now at sockergirls.com. "Not only are our girls all beautiful," says Socker Girls director Andria Elam, "you will notice that the photos are a real reflection of who [the girls] are on the inside."