CHICAGO (Oct. 14, 2015) – Study hall will never be the same for Lyons Township High School senior Nick Economou and 100 of his peers after a world-wide soccer star happened to drop by Wednesday morning.
U.S. Men’s National Team and Aston Villa starting goalie Brad Guzan created a life-long memory when he walked into the large classroom and presented Economou with the 2015 PepsiCo Showdown MVP belt. Last month, the senior midfielder helped Lyons Township win the 12th Annual PepsiCo Showdown, which is the largest high school soccer tournament in the U.S.
“I was once in Nick’s shoes as a high school player, so I knew this was going to be a cool moment and great honor for him to receive the PepsiCo Showdown MVP belt – especially in front of his peers,” said Guzan, who flew back to London a few hours later and will face Chelsea in Premier League action this weekend. “Nick worked hard for this major award, and I’m excited I could be the person to deliver the MVP belt.”
Just days after playing Mexico in front of 93,000 fans at the Rose Bowl, Guzan flew to Chicago from New York following the U.S./Costa Rica match on Tuesday night in order to pull off the memorable moment.
“We’re all very excited for Nick,” Lyons Township boys soccer coach Paul Labbato said. “The opportunity to have the presenter be one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Brad Guzan made this an overwhelming experience.”
“Nick’s exemplary play and sportsmanship on the field and his character off the field are true testaments as to why he was chosen for the PepsiCo Showdown honor,” Lyons Township Supt. Dr. Timothy Kilrea said.
In its 12th year, the PepsiCo Showdown features 192 high schools. The girls tournament is held each April, while the boys tournament is each September. Off the field, the 192 high schools make a difference in their surrounding communities by performing hours of community service during each PepsiCo Showdown event.
In March 2016, the PepsiCo Showdown will host the largest ONE DAY, ONE SITE high school community service event in U.S. history. Nearly 200 high schools and 20,000 high school students will gather from around the Chicagoland area – different genders, race and social economic backgrounds – to take part in this one-of-a-kind event, which fosters a commitment to young people by promoting empowerment, teamwork and the importance of giving back to help communities flourish.
The day also will feature local and national entertainers and Chicago sports athletes, who will make appearances to congratulate, honor and empower the high school students for making a difference and being leaders on-and-off the field.
-Press release issued by Joe Trost, PepsiCo Showdown Tournament Founder