MLS To Play In New Hawaiian Islands Invitational

MLS To Play In New Hawaiian Islands Invitational

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On March 16, 2011
  • Hawaiian Islands Invitational

It may not be the Pan Pacific Championship in it’s fullest but Major League Soccer reached an agreement with ESPN Regional Television, Inc. (ERT), in cooperation with the Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA) to create the new Hawaiian Islands Invitational, an international soccer event beginning Feb. 23 & 25, 2012, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The annual event will feature four games over a two-day period and will host squads from around the globe.

The Hawaiian Islands Invitational will be carried on and on a number of ESPN International networks. The inaugural event will include an MLS squad and three additional international teams to be announced at a later date.

“The popularity of soccer in Hawaii is tremendous,” Governor Neil Abercrombie said. “The Hawaiian Islands Invitational will be enjoyed by those who love this sport nationally and internationally. There is no other sport in the world that brings cultures together like soccer and, as a state, we will not only welcome the teams but also the fans that will visit Hawaii to be a part of this tournament.”

“MLS is proud to return to Hawaii, together with our broadcast partner ESPN and the HTA, whom we’ve worked with in the past,” said Will Wilson, MLS Executive Vice President. “We look forward to MLS’ successful participation in the Hawaiian Islands Invitational.”

“The Hawaii Tourism Authority is very pleased to be a part of the first ever Hawaiian Islands Invitational. The event will support our marketing efforts by attracting visitors from our major target and emerging markets,” said Mike McCartney, HTA president and CEO. “In addition, the television exposure and timing in close proximity to the Pro Bowl will reap great publicity benefits for Hawaii. But just as important, the Invitational will be a wonderful attraction for Hawaii residents. Soccer is an incredibly popular sport in our state, with youth soccer in Hawai’i registering more than 25,000 players and having more than 4,000 volunteers each year. We expect that the event will draw a great deal of local interest and attendance.”

No word yet on which MLS team will actually play in this tournament. My money is on either the Houston Dynamo or the Seattle Sounders to be in it first. Houston for obvious reasons with Brian Ching on their roster. Seattle for just pure guessing reasons.

I said before in regards to the PPC tournament that I was all for a preseason tournament in Hawaii. Let’s hope the some special teams are apart of it.