Phoenix Suns' Steve Nash: North American Soccer's MVP

Cesar Diaz@@gritwriterCorrespondent IIApril 26, 2011

Steve Nash took part of the NYFEST Celebrity Match on Saturday, April 23, 2011. (Photo courtesy of EA Sports)
Steve Nash took part of the NYFEST Celebrity Match on Saturday, April 23, 2011. (Photo courtesy of EA Sports)

New York, NY - Phoenix Suns' two-time NBA Most Valuable Player took part of this past Saturday's "Celebrity Match" hosted by NYFEST. In a partnership with the Tribeca Film Festival, Umbro and The New York Cosmos, NYFest is New York City's first Film & Entertainment Soccer Tournament.

With the weather mostly horrific for the day, soccer fans as well as the competing teams unitedly endured and braved through the weather for charity. Due to their participation, the event raised $25,000 for underprivileged children who are affiliated with nonprofit organizations that provide soccer-based programs.

Representing the "Home Team," Nash was paired with Ritchie Williams, Anderson Silva, John O'Brien, Tab Ramos, Ethan Zahn, John McEnroe, Andrew Shue and Claudio Reyna. Watching Nash play offered a viewers a glimpse of the potential he would have had as a professional soccer player.

Coming from a family line of soccer players, soccer was Nash's first sports passion. With his father John, who played professional soccer in South Africa and England, Nash grew up playing soccer alongside his brother, Martin, a former midfielder for the Vancouver Whitecaps and the Canadian national team.

Along with his responsibilities as the Phoenix Suns point guard, the two-time NBA MVP continues to assist towards North American Soccer in astronomical proportions which would make Major League Soccer’s Holy Trinity of Lamar Hunt, Robert Kraft and Phil Anschutz proud.

Not only is Steve Nash a model Ambassador for the NBA, but he’s also part of the ownership team of Major League Soccer's Vancouver Whitecaps FC. When it comes to promoting the North American Soccer, there is none better than Nash. Unlike celebrity MLS owners like Oscar De La Hoya and Drew Carey, Steve Nash can actually play soccer.

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If you're a soccer fan who lives in New York City, you wouldn't be surprised that the Phoenix Suns point guard was in the city playing in charity game. It’s well documented that he resides in New York during the summer. During that time, he has been known to practice with the New York Red Bulls.

It's also known that Steve Nash co-hosts an annual charity soccer match with soccer legend Claudio Reyna. Since it's inception in 2008, the soccer charity match is recognized as "Showdown in Chinatown."

Open to the public free of charge, this annual event takes place at the Sara D. Roosevelt Park on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City, and have featured two teams made up of National Basketball Association and international soccer players.

Monies raised in that tournament goes towards the Claudio Reyna Foundation and the Steve Nash Foundation, a foundation which provides services in three continents.

As stated in the Steve Nash Foundation website: "Dedicated to assisting underserved children in their health, personal development, education, and enjoyment of life, the Steve Nash Foundation operates globally to increase access to critical needs resources for children affected by poverty, illness, abuse or neglect."

Not only is Nash a passionate soccer fan, but he’s also a humanitarian and a father. Being a father of twin daughters, Steve has invested his money towards the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) League because he wants his daughters to grow up with female role models.

At the pace that Nash has as been assisting soccer in his unofficial role as "Ambassador for North American Soccer," it’s a possibility that he’ll be inducted into the NBA and Soccer Hall of Fame. Not bad for someone who many considered wasn’t good enough for the NBA.

Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for LatinoSports.com. He's also a Columnist for USSoccerPlayers.com; your source for American Soccer news brought to you by members of the U.S. National Team. Easily accessible, you may reach Cesar at cesar@latinosports.com and at Twitter at @CoveringSoccer.