Neymar Jr.’s Five Qualifier in Fresno is lining up to be a big hit, with 34 teams having signed up by noon Friday for the tournament at Calwa Park.
Action will begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, with the public invited to catch the action for free. The tournament, which is put on by Red Bull, ends with the championship at 3 p.m.
The winning team will be flown to Miami for the national tournament in June.
Team rosters have five to seven players, men and women, with two allowed to be older than 25. In a twist, teams have players sent off each time they allow a goal until no players are left or the 10-minute match ends.
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Last year, Fresno champion TC (Taft College) Broders went on to win the title. Runner-up FC Rats also advanced to the national tournament.
Fresno Fuego midfielder Diego Casillas was a part of the championship team, which won a three-day trip to Brazil for the World Finals.
TC Broders was recently flown to New York for a training session with the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer to prepare for the title defense.
Fresno is one of 16 cities in 10 states to host U.S. qualifier events.