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It's a beautiful (soccer) life

Soccer

Muchnick and family receive help from Wright-Phillips and friends at soccer camp in Newport Beach.

June 30, 2012|By Steve Virgen
  • Adam Muchnick, left, and Shaun Wright-Phillips, watch young soccer players at their International Soccer Camp at Harbor Day School.
Adam Muchnick, left, and Shaun Wright-Phillips, watch… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

In so many parts of the world, soccer is regarded as the beautiful game.

Adam Muchnick has always wanted that description to be true in the United States. The Newport Beach resident has wanted to increase the love of soccer locally. For the past year, he had been working to create a beautiful camp.

Last week, the work paid off as Adam Muchnick teamed up with English Premier League player Shaun Wright-Phillips (Queens Park Rangers) for their International Soccer Camp at Harbor Day School.

Everything seemed to fall into place as 200 campers gained the instruction from SWP and other English Premier League players like Victor Anichebe (Everton), Zat Knight (Bolton), Ashley Cole (Chelsea) and Steven Ireland (Aston Villa).

"We wanted to do something to give back to the kids and to do something for soccer in the USA," Muchnick said. "The feedback was extremely positive. A lot of the campers' parents said it changed their kids' lives and gave them a new passion for soccer. I wanted to show them my personal love for the game and how much it is loved around the world."

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Muchnick and SWP also brought in coaches from around the world, including coaches from Scotland, Argentina, Israel and England, Muchnick said.

Of course, SWP also provided some coaching as well.

"It was fantastic," Wright-Phillips said of the camp. "I hope they come back every year and learn from it and become famous footballers themselves for the USA. And, the girls too, if they want to take it seriously."

SWP had an important message for the young campers.

"I was always telling them to enjoy it and play with a smile on your face," he said. "Express yourself in any way possible."

Soccer has been a big part of Muchnick's life. He's always had a strong love for the game. For 17 years he worked as a corporate lawyer, and sometimes represented soccer players. This year, he left corporate law to become a full-time soccer player agent.

Soccer is also a huge in his family. His wife and devoted soccer mom, Cindy, coordinated many of the details of the Adam Muchnick and SWP International Soccer Camp.

Their eldest son Justin, 14, recently finished up at Harbor Day and will be attending Phillips Andover Academy, a boarding school in Andover, Mass., where he'll be playing for its soccer team.

Jacob, 11, attends Harbor Day and is training with the Los Angeles Galaxy Youth Academy.

Ross, 7, also plays soccer and competes for the Irvine Strikers.

Alexa, 5, spends time with Dad, as she plays for AYSO Region 57.

"They all have a passion for soccer," Adam Muchnick said.

Adam Muchnick plans to conduct the soccer camp again next summer. He said he didn't advertise the camp as much. He relied on word of mouth, and he sent emails to families that have soccer players.

He said the four-day camp exceeded expectations.

"It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences," Adam Muchnick said. "It really worked out well. We kind of under-promised and over-delivered. The pros would sign every autograph the kids wanted. We also had each age group play against the pros. They were really unbelievably giving with their time."

steve.virgen@latimes.com

Twitter: @SteveVirgen

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