Washington, D.C. – The Democrats defeated the Republicans at Gonzaga College High School to win the 6th annual Congressional Soccer Match, presented by Nike. The annual event brings together current and former sports legends and Members of Congress in support of the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s proven programs.
The Democrats took the early lead with two goals from Rep. Ruben Kihuen, followed by a third goal from Miguel Salazar, Communications Director for Rep. Kihuen. The Republicans scored twice to bring the score to 3-2 before halftime, with Clarence Goodson, former U.S. Men’s National Team member, and Thomas Hester, Legislative Director for the Rep. Michael McCaul, scoring one goal apiece.
During halftime, local DC SCORES Soccer for Success participants took the pitch for a scrimmage, coached by D.C. United and Washington Spirit players. The halftime show also featured the King/Queen of the Hill Penalty Kick Shootout, sponsored by The Hill. Melissa Enriquez, who works for Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, took home the crown.
In the second half, Cobi Jones, former U.S. Men’s National Team player and member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, and Jim Gabarra, former member of the U.S. Olympic Soccer Team and current head coach of the Washington Spirit, each scored a goal for the Democrats.
Santino Quaranta, former U.S. Men’s National Team and D.C. United player, and Amir Lowery, former MLS and NASL player, each tallied goals for the Republicans. Ultimately, the Democrats came out on top with a final score of 5-4.
“Sport has the power to bring people together and that was evident last night as Members of Congress, former professional athletes, and spectators gathered to demonstrate a commitment to improving the lives of children in underserved communities through soccer,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, president & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “Soccer can have a transformative effect on young lives. The sport connects children to coach-mentors who teach children how to develop healthy habits. Through soccer, children gain life skills that foster development, both on and off the field. Together with our supporters, the Foundation is committed to ensuring more children have these opportunities.”
To kick off the Congressional Soccer Match, representatives from 15 embassies and U.S. State Department employees competed in a mini World Cup-style event during the Embassy Tournament. In the end, the Embassy of Georgia was the victor.
The night culminated with a Staffer Tournament, where federal employees and Hill staffers competed in a friendly round-robin match.
In December 2017, the Foundation launched It’s Everyone’s Game, a movement to ensure that children living in underserved communities enjoy the health and youth development benefits of the game. The Foundation also announced its goals to engage one million children annually in Soccer for Success, the Foundation’s evidence-based after-school program, and build 1,000 safe places to play by 2026. All proceeds from the event will support the Foundation in reaching these goals and expanding its proven programs.
About the U.S. Soccer Foundation
The U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs are the national model for sports-based youth development in underserved communities. Since its founding in 1994, the Foundation has established programs proven to help children embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while nurturing their personal growth beyond sports. Its cost-effective, high-impact initiatives offer safe environments where kids and communities thrive. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Soccer Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) organization. Follow us on Twitter at @ussoccerfndn and Facebook at facebook.com/ussoccerfoundation.