David Beckham scored a goal, but that wasn't enough for the LA Galaxy. European champions FC Barcelona beat the Galaxy 2-1 in front of 93,000 soccer fans at the Rose Bowl. The FC Barcelona squad showed up in the Southland few days early to help the LA84 Foundation dedicate a new soccer pitch on the roof of the Montalban Theatre in Hollywood. KPCC’s Brian Watt stopped in.
The new soccer court isn’t done quite yet, but it was ready enough for a quick 3 on 3 friendly match that featured some Barcelona players and soccer star Mia Hamm. The Montalban rooftop venue is part of the LA 84 Foundation’s effort to build or refurbish 84 youth sports facilities. Olympic rower Anita DeFrantz has run the non-profit for more than 20 years:
Anita DeFrantz: "There are thousands of kids who live in this part of Hollywood, and there really are very few options for them to take part in sport. And they say a body in motion tends to stay in motion, and we want to make sure our kids have that opportunity."
Nike is helping out with funds and an important material for the new playing surfaces: recycled rubber left over from its shoe manufacturing process. DeFrantz says the new facilities celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Surplus $160 million in local youth sports programs.