Nash charity matches prove good for football - The Province


Charity games and the schtik required to pull them off are Steve Nash's domain.

Brother Martin? Not so much, but the Vancouver Whitecaps captain still had a good time in New York on Wednesday, even if he looked overly keen on a YouTube video, racing back to make a goal line clearance.

The second "Showdown in Chinatown", an eight-a-side charity game organized by two-time NBA MVP and Whitecaps MLS owner Steve Nash, brought global soccer and basketball stars together at an urban park in the Lower East Side.

"Those guys were all doing their thing, showing off for the fans," said Martin Nash, whose teammates included his brother, Grant Hill, Thierry Henry and Edgar Davids. "I was just playing sweeper and trying to stop the other team from killing us.

"It was neat meeting players from some of the biggest clubs in Europe. Henry, he's won every trophy there is to win and it was pretty interesting to chat with him."

The Showdown circuit is expanding this year to include stops in L.A. and Vancouver -- the latter on Sept. 19 at downtown's David Lam Park.

With this year's games, the Steve Nash Foundation is hoping to draw attention to Football for Good, a joint project with Athletes for Africa that aims to build world-class, sustainable soccer academies in war-ravaged countries.

Nash and the Whitecaps (4-5-3) have a few days off as they don't play again until July 9. It's been a rough first start for the defending USL-1 champs.

"It's been frustrating," said Nash. "The hardest thing to take is that we're not being outplayed, we're just not picking up results.

"It's probably a good time for a break and hopefully the guys come back refreshed."
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