Recap: Steve Nash’s Showdown In Chinatown [2013]

Posted on: June 27th, 2013 at 10:31 am by
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The air was thick with humidity and anticipation for the 6th annual Showdown in Chinatown. The children were having their usual pre-match kickabout on the pitch. Fans clamored up the bleachers to stake out seats. Remixed radio favorites blared across Sara D. Roosevelt Park. A festive vibe, for sure.

The players arrived promptly at 6:15 pm and the requisite warm ups and intros took place.

Team World
Steve Nash
Simone Sandri
Massimo Ambrosini
Marco Bellinelli
Giuseppe Rossi
Emmerson Boyce
Alessandro Savelli
Giovanni Bartocci (Lower East Sider, GM of Via Della Pace)

Team USA
Joakim Noah
Sacha Kljestan
Sammy Amoebi
Oguchi Onyewu
Richie Williams
Stuart Holden
Mark Stein
Mike Marino

It was announced that Steve had never been on a losing Showdown team in the history of the event. Was today going to be the day? Only time would tell.

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At the blow of the whistle, a spectrum of neon boots blurred up and down the less-than-spectacular condtion turf. Italian fans, sporting blue national team kits, set off the crowd with “oles!” as the players carved out a comfortable passing game.

First half highlights included a few quick goals by both sides, classic Guch back passes to the keeper, and a brilliant save by Joakim Noah, who ran down the sideline exclaiming, “Yeah, you saw that!” while pointing to the fans.

The scoreboard ping-ponged for a bit, until team USA pulled away towards the end of sixty minutes. The second half had Stuart Holden all over the field like a madman, Joakim Noah finally burying one in the mesh (he then treated the crowd to a victory lap), and Steve Nash launching a ball into the grandstand. Unintentionally.

The players were in great spirits – their good time was apparent to the kids sitting near the goal posts, fans in the bleachers, and the passerby, some of who climbed the fence and stood on benches to watch and cheer on the sports stars.

Steve’s team lost; 9-7 Team USA was the final. We thought Sammy Amoebi had man of the match in the bag, what with his dazzling world class passing and a handful of goals; but it was the charismatic fan favorite in high tops, Joakim Noah, who was awarded the Girard-Perregaux MVP Award.

Walking by the players autographing shirts and such for the kids, one particular comment about the game stuck out: “I am so hyped up on this Team America win! Greatest country in the world! So much fun!”

Making an event like this happen to support a charity of this kind (Steve Nash Foundation), we are inclined to agree.

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