In the Box

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The U.S. Women's National team appearance in Houston is now less than two weeks away.

The "Fan Celebration Tour" scheduled for October 23 at Reliant Stadium will be a final opportunity for U.S. fans to see the trio of Mia Hamm, Joy Fawcett, and Julie Foudy together as a group.

Who knows it may even be a final opportunity for local fans to see defender Brandi Chastain as well who remains undecided if she will continue to play or not for the red, white, and blue.

In tour dates up to now the team has not yet cracked the 20,000-fan mark with Cincinnati's 18,606 the top mark.

A mark that is achievable here in Houston.

My hope is that we will see legions of young youth players both female and male out at Reliant and break the 20,000 mark and again make a statement about Houston soccer!

Atmosphere equates lots of things.

I can clearly mark a number of soccer events that I went to when I was a youth that served as an initiator of dreams that made me desire to be a professional soccer player.

I sometimes feel sad that youth in our city don't have the regular opportunity like I did as a youth going to Giants Stadium to watch the New York Cosmos regularly.

The void has been filled here in Houston with the international exhibitions, Copa de Tejas, and the Interliga Tournament.

Bringing youth to these games enhances their soccer experience.

It shows them that their game is global, worldwide, not to mention that it can help to make players better.

In a city that doesn't yet have a Major League Soccer franchise our desire for live soccer is being served at Reliant Stadium .

How wonderful is it for us to know that we have the upcoming women's national team game at Reliant Stadium, can circle it up on a calendar and create that sense of suspense and patience that great live events can give one.

Looking forward to a game creates excitement and awareness.

Along with this match comes the recent announcement of return of the Interliga tournament to Reliant Stadium.

These two games to be played on January 12, 2005, will be a winner take all for entry into South America's prestigious Copa Libertadores featuring Mexico's top club teams.

Last year's event pushed over 50,000 fans through the turnstiles of Reliant Stadium.

The Copa Libertadores is equivalent to the European Champions League in many ways and will crown an eventual champion of South America.

It is desirable to the clubs participating to claim the title of "best team in South America" and it also provides the appropriate financial incentives that are stimulating to today's professional club teams.

Talk about something at stake you will have it on that evening with motivated players and teams and an electric atmosphere.

So how as soccer fans can we ensure that more games come to our great city?

Participate, be there and support your game and its players.

Houston as a city is on the radar screen of the powers to be in soccer.

Attendance at events like this can continue to ensure world class soccer comes to our community.

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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