Yesterday's charity mini-soccer game, "Showdown in Chinatown," organized by NBA superstar Steve Nash turned out to be the hot (free) ticket. People were crowded almost a dozen people deep, standing on cars, and clinging to fences and poles to catch glimpses of NBA players like Jason Kidd, Leandro Barbosa, and Baron Davis and soccer players Claudio Reyna, Salomon Kalou, Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman, Rob Jones, Jozy Altidore and Gregg Berhalter playing in Sara Roosevelt Park on the Lower East Side. Davis, who is a point guard for the Golden State Warriors, had expressed a desire to win, but apparently caused a few penalties by touching the ball (he was entertaining, though).
The crowd went wildest for French sensation Thierry Henry, who plays for Barcelona (check out these goals). He told reporters he could see himself playing for Major League Soccer here, "I love America. I love it here. And whenever I come here, I feel free. Hopefully, one day. You never know what's going to happen. But at the moment, I'm still over there." Henry added, "Sometimes I do get recognized, but I feel free when I'm here, so that's the most important thing. I love it."
And Reyna is thinking about next year's match, "Next year hopefully we can get five or six more guys. I'm going to hit up my South American crew and hopefully (Javier) Zanetti and (Lionel) Messi will be around next year."