U.S. soccer legend surprises kids with free clinic

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- The U.S. takes on Mexico on the soccer field Wednesday at the University of Phoenix Stadium. And on Tuesday's Good Morning Arizona, legendary former U.S. soccer goalie Tony Meola paid a visit to 3TV.

Tony took part in Allstate's "Good Hands FC" youth soccer clinic on Tuesday.  He surprised a local soccer team with a soccer clinic and a bunch of free gear, like bags, balls, jerseys and training apparel. He also supplied them with tickets to the US-Mexico match.

"All of us were that age at one point, and we all had a dream; we all wanted to play in the World Cup," Tony says. "You never know who it's going to happen to. But this is the way to start."

Tuesday morning, Tony shared some soccer secrets with the Blackhawks, who won their division to score best in state this year. 

Tony talked about the most important lesson he teaches kids at his clinics. "At this age just enjoy the game," he says. "Learn as much as you can. Have the ball at your feet as much as you can. You never know what's going to happen."

Tony is now retired, but during his career, he played 250 games and had more than 1,100 saves. He was named MVP in 2000.  He was even on a Frosted Flakes box! "All of these things just go to show the development of this sport in our country," he says. "We started off at a level where we often couldn't compete with the rest of the world, and now we are there."

If you'd like to meet Tony, he will be available to to sign autographs during a meet-and-greet event at the "Allstate Fan Zone" Wednesday. The information is below:

Wednesday, April 2
4:00 - 8:00 P.M. (Allstate Fan Zone open to fans)
5:30 - 6:15 P.M. (Meola autograph session at Allstate Fan Zone)
6:30 - 7:45 P.M. (Martín "El Pulpo" Zúñiga autograph session at Allstate Fan Zone)

University of Phoenix Stadium
1 Cardinals Dr.
Glendale, AZ 85305
West Preferred Lot