Published : Saturday, June 15, 2019 | 4:33 AM
It was a rare treat for fans as well as Mexican soccer superstar Moisés Muñoz who came to kick the ball around with the students and talk about the Gold Cup match in Pasadena Saturday night.
Mexico will square off against Cuba before an expected 60,000 fans in the Rose Bowl at 7 p.m.
The pre-event, the Allstate official “Day for Play,” connected former MNT Goalkeeper Muñoz with his fans prior to the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup Tournament.
“It’s been a great day with the kids,” said legendary player on Friday.
“But it is great for me also,” he said. “I’m always grateful to be here with the kids, exchanging old balls for new ones and taking pictures with the Gold Cup. It’s kind of a ‘warm-up’ and it’s a chance to get the fans excited and ready for the Gold Cup.”
Muñoz played a little soccer with the youngsters and Vice Mayor and City Councilmember Tyron Hampton. They talked soccer and Gold Cup with others on hand, including Allstate Agent Beatriz Zaragoza.
“I love seeing everybody’s smiling faces,” Zaragoza said. “You can tell the parents are big fans and they had smiles on their faces too. Everyone was together.”
During the “Day for Play,” there was a ball exchange, where people could exchange their old soccer ball for a new one.
Muñoz loves to visit California, he said. That’s because he lived in Northern California and the experience left a lingering impact.
“I lived here in California for four years and every time I get the chance to come back to the states and see the kids, I do it,” he said. “They look up to me as a role model. I lived here from the time I was 8 years old to 12 years old. Those are the best years to learn, you’re like a sponge when you’re a kid.”
He advised young people to get the hard work out of the way early that and education comes first.
“My advice is to stay in school, that’s the most important thing to do,” he said. “And if you like sports practice sports.”