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)
A good number of Westporters are heading to Brazil for the World Cup. Most of us, unfortunately, will stay home.
But the World Cup comes to Westport — all tournament long — via the StaplesSoccer.com website, and at a special June 22 event.
The “World Cup” link at the top of the website leads to contests, trivia, history, blogs from players and alums who are in Brazil — you name it, it’s there.
The 1st 2 contests — to guess the finish of all 8 1st-round groups, and pick the starting lineup for the 1st US game — are already underway. Prizes are ASF gift certificates; the deadline is this Wednesday, June 11. Contest details are here.
There are polls too, like “Who will win the World Cup?” and “What do you think about Landon Donovan being left off the US team?” The polls are here.
The website is for all of Westport — and soccer fans everywhere. To add something to the World Cup pages — or submit stories and photos when you’re in Brazil — email StaplesWorldCup@gmail.com.
Meanwhile, on June 22, Staples boys soccer is sponsoring a “Westport World Cup” day. At 3:15 p.m., elementary and middle school players will enjoy mini-games, an obstacle course, speed gun and penalty kick contest and more, at the Staples athletic fields.
At 5 p.m. there are food trucks; at 6 p.m., the US-Portugal game will be shown on a big screen in the auditorium. At halftime, the raffle winner — for a unique, behind-the-scenes tour of ESPN with World Cup broadcaster Jeremy Schaap — will be chosen. Sign up now for one or all of the June 22 events.
You (probably) can’t be in Brazil. But the Staples boys soccer program brings Brazil to you.
Staples boys soccer players enjoy helping the next generation of players. Last fall Sterling Price, Patrick Beusse, Charlie Leonard and Steven Sobel hung out with WSA players at Burr Farms Field.
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