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A time to celebrate for Slammers

Slammers, the Newport Beach-based soccer club, throw a party for past, present and future success.

February 11, 2014|By Steve Virgen
  • Soccer star Mia Hamm, center, is flanked by Directors of Coaching brothers Walid, left and Ziad Khoury, during the Slammers Celebration at the OC Mix in Costa Mesa.
Soccer star Mia Hamm, center, is flanked by Directors… (Susan Hoffman )

A soccer party took place Saturday night at the OC Mix in Costa Mesa and it was called, "The Slammers FC Celebration."

But for Walid and Ziad Khoury it was also known as a dream come true.

The brothers who are the directors of coaching for the elite soccer club, based in Newport Beach, had always wanted a night like Saturday when a reunion of sorts took place intertwined with pride of past accomplishments, acknowledgment of the present talent, and strong confidence for the future.

There were stories to be told and jokes to laugh about. It was a time to celebrate so much success.

"This was a great way to celebrate the kids we have put into college and for us to talk about the direction we're going for our future," Walid Khoury said. "We started in 1999. We had been with OC United and then we started Slammers. It's been a great ride ever since. We impacted a lot of lives. We started small. We started with four teams and got bigger. We have around 30 teams right now. But it's not about the number of teams that we have, it's about the quality that we have."

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Talented soccer players and their families filled the OC Mix, where many received a booklet about the Slammers Celebration.

"Since 2002, Slammers FC have played in 16 national championships and won nine (seven girls, two boys), the latest in 2012," it read on a page inside.

Another statement could be seen on the same page, "Since the Soccer America national youth club rankings began in 2004, Slammers FC has ranked within the top six, six times and is currently ranked No. 5, the highest ranking for a So Cal club."

There are so many reasons for that success. Many in the room said the reasons were the Khoury brothers. They trained the players and created a winning atmosphere, many said. And the alumni gave the club even more credibility.

The U.S. women's national team features two Slammers, Christen Press and Whitney Engen.

Cami Levin, also a Slammer alum, starred at Stanford with Press. The Newport Coast native is the captain of the U.S. under-23 women's national team. She showed up Saturday and spoke about her time with the Slammers.

"Just being back here right now and being with players I've been with and seeing all the players and parents, it brings tears to my eyes," Levin said. "This Slammers family has been such a huge part of my life. I grew so much as a person and a soccer player because of them. I know I would never be where I am without them."

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