The Sierra Leone All-Stars are set to defend their title at the 2012 Los Angeles African Soccer Tournament on Sept. 1 at the John Ferraro Soccer Fields at Griffith Park, 5101 North Zoo Drive, but you can bet either another African or West Indian team is ready to unseat them.

Thirty-two teams representing 29 countries are set to compete in the second annual soccer tournament featuring the best African and West Indian semi-pro and amateur soccer players in the Los Angeles area.

On Saturday, Sept. 1., from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Angelenos will be treated to an entertaining and competitive soccer event showcasing the players, including a parade, exhibitors, music, a special youth soccer clinic hosted by the L.A. Galaxy, and an international food court featuring the best in African and West Indian cuisine.

Two weeks later, on Saturday, Sept. 15, Carson’s Home Depot Center, 18400 S. Avalon Blvd., will host the semi-final and final games during African Heritage Night, from 2 to 7 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.

New teams this year include the LAPD Centurions, Belize, and Angola. Returning teams are: Zambia, Uganda, Togo, Tanzania, Sudan, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Rwanda, Nigeria, Namibia, Morocco, Liberia, Kenya, Jamaica, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Ghana, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Egypt, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, and the USA. In addition, there will be a special showcase highlighting women in soccer.

For more information, please call (323) 993-8662 or email

According to the U.S. Census, it is estimated that the current population of African immigrants to the United States is about 881,300. In Los Angeles County there are about 26,000 Africans.