The Staples boys soccer team played host to 250 younger players today, in a sun-filled, joyful warmup to the US-Portugal World Cup match.
There were mini-games, an obstacle course, a speed gun, penalty kick contests, food, a raffle, and plenty of smiles. It was hard to know who had more fun, the kids or the Staples guys.
The only drag was the final result. Portugal scored with 10 seconds to go in injury time, to tie 2-2. But perhaps one of the kids who chanted “USA! USA!” in the auditorium will be on the field for the USA in a World Cup 20 years from now — and will remember this as the day that started it all.
Taking it steady on one part of the obstacle course. (Photo/Kim Lake)
Denzel Robinson (left) and Sam Kantor help on another part of the obstacle course. Denzel said he loved watching the little kids smile. (Photo/Kim Lake)
Checking out a powerful kick, with the aid of a speed gun. (Photo/Kim Lake)
Best buds, playing the game they love — and lovin’ the US jerseys. (Photo/Kim Lake)
Staples captain Andrew Puchala shows future stars how it’s done. (Photo/Kim Lake)
Part of the crowd this afternoon. The Staples players sit proudly at top. (Photo/Kim Lake)
It doesn’t get better than eating pizza and wearing US face paint. (Photo/Doug Fincher)