McCalifornia  /  McDonald's  /  Missael Espinoza Youth Soccer Clinic

Youth soccer: Lucky youngsters to learn from Mexico's best

By I.A. Stewart
January 24, 2009

Martin Guerrero’s got 20 tickets to the hottest show in town right now. The only problem is, he’s got 100 employees, and they all want one.

Mexico’s national soccer team will play a friendly on Wednesday in Oakland against Sweden, and McDonald’s, as one of the primary event sponsors, gave each of its restaurant owners several tickets. So Guerrero, the owner and operator of Watsonville’s two McDonald’s franchises, said he’s giving his tickets away as prizes (whoever can sell 100 apple pies gets one).

But that extra-motivated burger-flipper isn’t the real lucky one in this affair. That would be, as it should be, the kids. Guerrero has helped to arrange for 84 local youngsters to be chaperoned to the Coliseum to get to meet and play alongside some of Mexico’s finest players, including Missael Espinoza, during a clinic the team is hosting on Monday. Twenty-two of the kids at the clinic0 will get to accompany the pro players onto the field during the national anthems Wednesday night.

“Soccer is such a big thing in Watsonville, and so I just jumped on it,” Guerrero said. “We have so many kids in Watsonville from Mexico and who are Mexico soccer fans, that I knew we’d have a great participation in this.”

This is the third time that Guerrero has arranged for local kids to meet the Mexican team, which makes a tour through the United States each year. The clinic will run from 4-6 p.m. Monday at the Oakland Coliseum.