In the Box

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When the four Mexican clubs that survive the preliminary rounds of the Interliga tournament come to Houston on Jan. 12 for the tournament finals opportunity will knock in many ways.

Sure the four Mexican clubs that evening will be playing for the huge opportunity of moving forward in the prestigious Copa Libertadores.

As Club America, Chivas, Santos, Toluca, Jaguares, Atlante, Tigres, and Necaxa continue their preparations for the tournament it is important to ponder what this tournament means to Houston and how it affects all of us.

Much like the hosting of the Super Bowl and Major League Baseball All-Star Game hosting the finals on Jan. 12 will again raise awareness and bring exposure to our city both from a soccer standpoint and from the standpoint of showing off our city's best assets.

Like other national and international events this one can influence fans and media traveling into our city and leave a wonderful impression.

In fact a large contingent of media will be arriving to post reports on the finals on Jan. 12.

The games will be televised back to Mexico and will garner huge ratings while bringing great exposure to our city

The games are also a reminder to our business community that the interests and trends of people in our city continues to move outside the norm.

Soccer brings huge entertainment and joy to many in our diverse city.

With great attendance at the Interliga finals on Jan. 12 it will again be an important gauge for the potential of Houston hosting important international events like the Gold Cup and National Team games in the future.

Who knows, we may one day be watching a World Cup game at Reliant!

According to Jamey Rootes at Lone Star Sports and Entertainment a great turnout from fans on Jan. 12 could go a long way in making Reliant Stadium the permanent home for the Interliga Finals.

This game also can continue to validate Houston to an owner or ownership group that wants to make Houston a part of Major League Soccer.

Lets put some accountability out in getting membership from Stysa (youth soccer), TSSAS (adult soccer), and individual youth clubs out to these games.

The opportunity is one that cities around the country are starving for, yet we continue to get a healthy menu of international soccer here in Houston thanks to the vision of many.

Our attendance and support of these matches can ensure that we will continue to have this opportunity to go to top level international soccer right in our own back yard in the future.

Our attendance could bring Major League Soccer to our city where one day local players like Arturo Alvarez (San Jose), Josh Gardner (Los Angeles), and Ricky Lewis (Colorado) could represent our city.

The games will again provide an amazing opportunity to influence young players, celebrate soccer with like minded individuals, and bring entertainment value second to none.

Be present, be vocal, and support your game !

See you at Reliant on Jan. 12.

Davis is a nationally recognized broadcaster for HDNET where he partners up with former U.S. National Team defender Marcelo Balboa. He was one of the lead voices for ESPN during the 2002 World Cup and has called major international soccer matches for the Fox Network as well. He is a weekly columnist for the Houston Chronicle and hosts the "Soccer Hour with Glenn Davis" radio show on 90.1KPFT FM Radio every Sunday from 5-6 pm. Davis played soccer professionally for the Houston Dynamos where he was a league all star selection and team captain.

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