Armed Forces Entertainment (AFE) is sending eight big name soccer stars to military bases n Cuba, Curacao, Honduras and Southwest Asia just as World Cup fever takes hold of much of the globe, while Country music star Kellie Pickler headlines at six bases in Japan, engaging our service members serving overseas beginning November 3.
The AFE Soccer Cup All-Stars lineup includes eight top-notch soccer professionals who teach clinics, impart skills and insider tricks to children and adults, just as excitement for the World Cup builds. Athletes share strategies on mental toughness, facing adversity, and how to achieve success in athletics and life.
Bryan Arguez, who played for the U.S. U17 and U20 national teams, was named to the U.S. roster for the 2007 and 2009 U20 FIFA Cups. Arquez was also a part of the U23 U.S. team at the 2008 Toulon Tournament and represented the U.S. Olympic team. Now retired, Arguez has committed himself to helping kids improve their physical and mental skills.
Forward Miles Byass, who played for San Diego State, began his professional career for the Orange County Blue Star in 2012 and with the Seattle Sounders FC U23 the following year. In 2014, Byass signed with FF Jaro, making three World Cup appearances before joining MYPA. Byass currently plays for Foro SC.
At her alma-mater, University of Florida, Danielle Fotopoulos led her team to the 1998 NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship. She continued her career with U.S. Women’s Soccer and was a member of the 1999 FIFA World Cup Championship squad. After successfully coaching several college teams, Fotopoulos was inducted into UF’s Hall of Fame in 2008 and into the Florida High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2014.
At the University of Virginia, Sarah Huffman was named an All-American, and went on to become a member of the U16, U17, and U23 U.S. women’s national soccer teams. She helped the team win the 2002 FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship and won the Nordic Cup with the U21s in 2004, 2005, and 2007. In 2010, she played with the United States Women’s National Soccer team.
Offensive super star Natasha Kai played at the University of Hawaii where she was a scoring leader, and played professionally for the Philadelphia Independence, Los Angeles Galaxy OC, and Sky Blue FC. She made her Women’s National Team debut at the 2006 Algarve Cup in Portugal, and played for the 2007 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team. Kai led the 2008 Olympic U.S. Women’s Soccer Team to win gold in Beijing.
Ashley Nick, a soccer standout from University of Southern California, competed with the U23 U.S. National Team in 2008, and played on the U15, U17 and U20 U.S. National Teams. She was a part of the 2018-19 Juventus FC team that won championships in both the Serie A and Coppa Italia Championships.
Domi Richardson, a California native, played soccer year-round during her formative years before landing at the University of Missouri, where she started every game of every season in her four years there. After college, she attended open tryouts and signed with the Houston Dash in 2014. The following year, Richardson signed with FC Kansas City as a discovery player, and in 2016 signed with Sky Blue FC. She currently plays for NJ/NY Gotham FC in the National Women’s Soccer League.
A two-time First-Team NSCAA All-American at Santa Clara University, Nikki Serlenga went on to play 14 matches with the Women’s National Team through the Gold Cup. Nikki was a member of the U.S. teams that won the 2000 Australia Cup, NIKE US Women’s Cup, CONCACAF Women’s Gold Cup, the Pacific Cup and the DFB Jubilee Tournament. She proudly represented the U.S. at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney where the team won silver.
The elite athletes that make up the AFE Soccer Cup All-Stars will visit U.S. military bases in Southwest Asia Nov. 3 – 11; U.S. Air Force Curacao/Aruba Nov. 12, Soto Cano Air Base Honduras Nov. 15 and GTMO Nov. 16 – 17.
Multi-talented Country music and television star Kellie Pickler, a fan favorite since her debut on American Idol, is bringing her powerful vocals and heartfelt lyrics to bases in Japan Nov. 10 – Nov. 19. Pickler, whose daytime talk show “Pickler & Ben” has recently been nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards, is an avid supporter of the U.S. military, and loves to entertain the troops. Pickler will be at YOKOTA AB Nov. 10, CAMP ZAMA Nov. 11, CFA YOKOSUKA Nov. 12, MISAWA AB Nov. 15, NAF ATSUGI Nov. 17 and MCB Camp Butler Nov. 19.
“Armed Forces Entertainment is honored to bring hands-on skill clinics by elite athletes, upbeat entertainment, and visits from notable celebrities keep our military men and women connected to our country, and reinforce our appreciation of their selfless service,” said AFE Marketing & Business Analyst Brian Burke.