The 3rd annual Coachella Valley Invitational returned to the Empire Polo Fields in Indio. It's a preseason exhibition tournament hosted to give players and coaches a chance to hit the pitch before the regular season. It's also an opportunity for fan to have an up-close experience with some of their favorite players.
“This is our second year. being here," said Ana Hueso, a LAFC fan. "Last year, we got autographs from like, everybody pretty much. And pictures and it was very nice. There's food, drinks, and different vendors. It's just a like a family oriented experience."
Today was also the third day of the tournament, and spectators got to catch two games for the day:
LA Galaxy vs Austin FC, and LAFC vs Chicago Fire FC
Families enjoyed food, table tennis, and miniature soccer matches around the grounds. Kids also got to meet and speak with players in between matches. Many of the players taking tine to sign autographs and take pictures. One fan, Ryan Small, got several of his favorite LA Galaxy players to sign his jersey.
"I was right here. We're on the fence area. And they just came up and saw me. I was like, Ricky, can you sign this? He's like, Yeah, sure.”
This year, a total of 12 men's teams and four women's teams are taking part in the invitational.
Th first edition of the tournament was held in February of 2022, and featured clubs from Major League Soccer, MLS Next Pro, and the USL Championship. The tournament runs through the 24th. You can buy tickets online here: https://coachellavalleyinvitational.com/