By Simon Fudge/whitecapsfc.com
Vancouver Whitecaps FC team captain Martin Nash took part in the second annual 'Showdown in Chinatown' charity soccer match on Wednesday.
After scoring the equalizer in the Whitecaps 2-2 draw at Cleveland City Stars in the USL First Division on Tuesday night, the Canadian international made his way from Ohio to New York City to take part in the street-style eight-a-side soccer match in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Sara D. Roosevelt Park on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The experienced midfielder played alongside top stars from the world of basketball and soccer in support of his brother - NBA basketball star and Vancouver MLS 2011 co-owner Steve Nash - and his two charities in 'Football for Good' and 'The Steve Nash Foundation'.
Several high-profile names took part in Wednesday's event, with former USA international Claudio Reyna leading 'Team Reyna' to an 8-5 victory over 'Team Nash'. Top soccer stars included Ryan Babel, Ivan Cordoba, Edgar Davids, Mathieu Flamini, Thierry Henry, Salomon Kalou, Adrian Mutu, and Javier Zanetti. From the world of basketball - Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh, Phoenix Suns star Grant Hill, and San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker were also involved in the charity match.
The 'Caps skipper enjoyed being part of Wednesday's game. "There were a lot of people there and they were really into the game, so it was a neat experience to be part of," Martin Nash told whitecapsfc.com. "I got to chat with Grant Hill, who was a really nice guy, while watching Chris Bosh play soccer was interesting at times, but he seemed to enjoy himself. It was fun playing with all those European stars and a World Cup winner in Henry."
The midfielder's role on Wednesday was a little more defensive to what most Whitecaps fans are used to seeing with him. This included a goal line clearance by the playmaker from Kalou during the match. "I mostly just sat back and played as a defender because everyone was going forward, so I was designated to play at the back," he said.
Soccer fans on the Lower Mainland will have the privilege to watch and support their own soccer charity event, as Football for Good will present 'Showdown in Downtown' at Vancouver's David Lam Park on Saturday, September 19.
Based in British Columbia, The Steve Nash Foundation aims to provide platforms to grow health in kids. The organization has also teamed up with 'Athletes for Africa' to create Football for Good, which aims to build world-class, sustainable soccer academies in war-ravaged countries on the African continent.
Click here for more information on The Steve Nash Foundation and here to learn more about Football for Good.