DEMS STAGE THEATRICAL COMEBACK TO RECLAIM TITLE AS CONGRESSIONAL SOCCER MATCH CHAMPIONS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Congressional Soccer Match – this year presented by the U.S. Soccer Federation – returned in all its excitement, convening embassy employees, Members of Congress, sports legends, Hill staffers, and soccer fans in support of the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s proven, life-changing programs for children in underserved communities. In their first meeting since the 2019 event, Republicans and Democrats went head-to-head at D.C. United’s Audi Field to compete for the coveted 2022 Congressional Soccer Match title. Ultimately, the Democrats reigned victorious.

The scoring opened in the 14th minute of the game when Rep. Anthony Gonzalez curled the ball back post around goalkeeper Rep. Tom Milanowski. The Republicans again were up on the scoresheet after a handball in the Democrats’ box, after which Rep. Mike Gallagher found the net off a penalty kick. It was just before halftime that the Dems found their way back into the game when ESPN’s Sebastian Salazar slotted the ball past Republican goalkeeper Rep. Blake Moore. The first half score finished Republicans, 2, Democrats, 1.

Washington Spirit players appeared in full force as they were celebrated at half time for earning the championship title during the 2021 NWSL season. DC SCORES poet athletes also performed their spoken word poetry for the crowd.

The second half of the Congressional Soccer Match saw no shortage of activity. Three minutes in, Brian McMillan, Senior Counsel for Rep. Eric Swalwell, quickly capitalized and brought the score 2-2. Just two minutes later, President of Club Operations for the Washington Spirit and former D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen gave the Dems the lead with an excellently timed header. Ben Olsen’s Washington Spirit colleague and former USMNT player Lee Nguyen quickly followed suit with another goal a couple minutes later to strengthen the Democrats’ lead. With five minutes to play, Santino Quaranta found the net to bring the Republicans back into the game. Akin to their combination play in the 2019 Match, Ben Olsen and Eric Fins, Deputy Staff Director for Rep. Kathy Castor, combined on a play that left Fins one on one with the goalie after a through ball from Olsen. Fins found the back of the next with two minutes to play. At the final whistle, the Democrats came out victorious with a final score of Republicans, 3, Democrats, 5.

“We’ve been waiting a long time to get back on the pitch, and it showed tonight,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “The Congressional Soccer Match is a special event where people from all over the country and the world come together and can speak the same language in support of this game we all love. We’re thrilled our friends at U.S. Soccer joined us as presenting sponsor this year and we are grateful for all who came out to support programs helping transform children’s lives in underserved communities.”

While the 2022 FIFA World Cup will not take place until later this year, 21 embassy teams representing their countries kicked off the night of festivities in a friendly, mini-World Cup-style tournament, with game production run by District Sports, a local non-for-profit organization connecting D.C. residents through soccer. Following eight small-sided matches, the Embassy of Croatia took home the first-place trophy after defeating the United Kingdom II team by a narrow score of 2-1. Senator Todd Young was in attendance to present the trophy. For a full list of embassy tournament scores, visit this link.

Following the Congressional Soccer Match, Hill staffers and federal employees laced up their boots for the Staffer Tournament, played under the lights at Audi Field.

All proceeds from the Congressional Soccer Match support the U.S. Soccer Foundation to help expand its proven programs nationwide.
Through its proven programs, the U.S. Soccer Foundation provides underserved communities access to innovative play spaces and evidence-based soccer programs that instill hope, foster well-being, and help youth achieve their fullest potential. By 2026 the Foundation aims to engage 1 million youth in its sports-based youth development programming and install 1,000 mini-pitches in undeserved neighborhoods. To date, more than 400,000 children have been engaged in its Soccer for Success program and nearly 500 mini-pitches have been created and are open for play in communities across the country.

2022 Congressional Soccer Match Participants

Democrats:

  • Sally Brown-Shaklee, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of Rep. Dick Durbin (D-IL)
  • Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL)
  • Colleen Carlos, Chief of Staff, Office of Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA)
  • Joel Cohen, Legislative Director, Office of Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV)
  • Mike Cullina, CEO, US Club Soccer
  • Eamon Finan, Bloomberg
  • Eric Fins, Deputy Staff Director, Office of Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL)
  • Miguel Franco, Telemundo
  • Smith Hunter, U.S. Soccer Youth National Team
  • Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA)
  • Lori Lindsey, Former member, U.S. Women’s National Team
  • Joanna Lohman, Former member, U.S. Women’s National Team
  • Rocky McIntosh, Former member, NFL, Philanthropist
  • Brian McMillan, Senior Counsel, Office of Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
  • Devon McTavish, Former member, D.C. United, Current Color Analyst, D.C. United Broadcast
  • Rep. Tom Milanowski (D-NJ)
  • Zachary Mitchiner, Communications Department, Office of Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
  • Lee Nguyen, Assistant Coach, Washington Spirit & Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team
  • Ben Olsen, President of Club Operations, Washington Spirit, Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team and D.C. United
  • Luis Rosero, Telemundo
  • Sebastian Salazar, Host, Reporter and Play-by-Play Announcer, ESPN Networks
  • Tony Sanneh, Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team
  • David Sutphen, U.S. Soccer Foundation Board Member
  • Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV)
  • Sarah Towels, PepsiCo

Republicans:

  • Jeff Agoos, SVP of Competition and Medical Administration, MLS & Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team
  • Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE)
  • Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX)
  • Matthew Dunn, Bloomberg
  • Luciano Emilio, Former member, D.C. United
  • Fernando Fiore, Inter Miami CF Ambassador, TV presenter at TIGO SPORTS
  • Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI)
  • Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH)
  • Steve Hartell, Amazon
  • Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC)
  • Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL)
  • Doug Lyons, U.S. Soccer Foundation Board Member
  • Nicholas Mayhugh, Paralympian, Team USA
  • Rep. Blake Moore (R-UT)
  • Cindy Parlow Cone, President, U.S. Soccer, Former member, U.S. Women’s National Team
  • Santino Quaranta, Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team and D.C. United
  • Blake Randolph, Legislative Counsel, Office of Senator Rubio (R-FL)
  • Michael Rauber, Deputy Communications Director, Office of Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH)
  • Juergen Sommer, Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team & U.S. Soccer Foundation Board Member
  • Cully Stimson, U.S. Soccer Foundation Board Member
  • Rep. David Valadao (R-CA)
  • Megan Wharton, U.S. Women’s Beach Soccer National Team
  • Mark Williams, Ferox Strategies
  • Senator Todd Young (R-IN)

Special Guest:

  • Brian McBride, Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team

For image selects, please follow this link and credit Jose Argueta.

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. For more information visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

ABOUT THE CONGRESSIONAL SOCCER MATCH

In its 8th year, the Congressional Soccer Match is a widely attended event held in the nation’s capital that brings together Members of Congress, Hill staffers, athletes, corporations, embassies, and community leaders and organizations in support of one cause: using soccer to improve children’s lives on and off the pitch. All proceeds from the event will support the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs that provide underserved communities with access to innovative play spaces and evidence-based soccer programs. This year’s sponsors include U.S. Soccer Federation, Telemundo, adidas, Amazon, Bloomberg, D.C. United, The DICK’s Sporting Goods Foundation, Washington Spirit, PepsiCo, Blockchain Association, Congressional Federal Credit Union, Ferox Strategies, GEICO, U.S. National Teqball Federation, and Indigov.

MEDIA CONTACT
Jennifer Arnold
jarnold@ussoccerfoundation.org
202.872.6662

JOIN US

Join the U.S. Soccer Foundation in the movement to improve lives through soccer.

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OUR PARTNERS

adidas

adidas

adidas, the Foundation’s Safe Places to Play – Mini-Pitch Partner, supports providing children in underserved communities with safe play spaces nationwide. adidas strives to be the globally leading and most popular sporting goods brand. Dedicated to innovation,  adidas embraces creativity and seeks to be socially responsible in all facets of its brand. For more information, please visit adidas.com.

CHA

CHA

CHA Sports, the Foundation’s Supplier for Soccer Facility Design and Planning Services, provides community partners with expertise in soccer facility design. CHA Sport’s full service approach allows the company to build world-class projects without breaking budgets. For more information, please visit chacompanies.com

The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation

The DICK'S Sporting Goods Foundation

DICK’S Sporting Goods and The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation believe that participation in sports makes people better. Since 2014, DICK’S and The DICK’S Foundation have pledged more than $100 million to support youth sports teams and leagues in need.  Through our Sports Matter initiative we strive to increase awareness for underfunded youth athletics nationwide and provide much-needed support through equipment, uniform and monetary donations. For more information on Sports Matter, visit SportsMatter.org.

GEICO

GEICO

GEICO is committed to impacting local communities through Educational programs, Community Development projects and Equity & Inclusion initiatives. To date, GEICO has donated to 7,000+ charities and averaged between $6 and $8 million in annual giving over the last two decades. To learn more about GEICO’s commitment to the community please visit www.geico.com/about/in-the-community.

Genesis Gives

Genesis Gives

Genesis Gives is a corporate social responsibility initiative from Genesis Motor North America. Expanding on the brand’s commitment to the highest standards of performance and its athletic elegance design identity, Genesis Gives supports nonprofit organizations with the goal of improving access to, and performance in, youth sports and STEAM education in under resourced communities.

Kwik Goal

Kwik Goal

Kwik Goal, the Foundation’s Official Supplier for goals, seating, boundary equipment, training equipment and coaching accessories, will be supporting a variety of Foundation programs and initiatives including: Soccer for Success, National Training and the Safe Places to Play program. Over thirty years ago, Kwik Goal was founded on the revolutionary concept of providing transportable goals for coaches at all age levels. Since that time, Kwik Goal has continued to focus on helping coaches and soccer programs create safe and dynamic learning environments by supplying high quality, safety tested soccer goals, field equipment and training equipment to the domestic and international market. For more information, please visit Kwikgoal.com.

Miami Children's Trust

Miami Children's Trust

The Children’s Trust supports Soccer for Success programming in South Florida. The Children’s Trust is a dedicated source of revenue established by voter referendum to improve the lives of children and families in Miami-Dade County.

MLS WORKS

MLS WORKS

MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, is dedicated to addressing important social issues and serves as a platform for both League and club philanthropic programs. MLS WORKS seeks to establish Major League Soccer as a leader for improving the lives of people through sport. MLS WORKS is committed to improving the communities where we live and play our games by executing national programs and legacy projects, charitable giving campaigns, and undertaking various initiatives in underserved communities.

Musco

Musco

As a proud corporate partner of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Musco is dedicated to helping the major charitable arm of American soccer create new opportunities through high-quality sports lighting. Their Total Light Control—TLC for LED™ technology is engineered as a system with lighting, structural, and electrical components designed to work together for streamlined installation and long-term reliability. TLC for LED delivers superior field lighting while eliminating glare and spill from impacting surrounding neighborhoods. And Musco’s long-term warranty covering parts and labor means U.S. Soccer Foundation partners don’t have to handle any maintenance on their system, or pay for it, for 25 years. Visit https://ussoccerfoundation.org/grants/ to learn more about the grant program and application process.

SCORE Sports

SCORE Sports

SCORE Sports, the preferred provider of shin guards to the Foundation’s Soccer for Success program, is a family-owned and operated business specializing in sports equipment, uniforms and apparel. SCORE is an industry leader and has been involved in the sports community for over 40 years. SCORE outfits athletes with high-quality uniforms that SCORE develops, designs and manufactures in the U.S. SCORE takes pride in working with various non-profit groups and causes to give back to athletes who may need some extra support to play the game they love. SCORE is environmentally cautious with the materials it uses for its products and does its part in minimizing our environmental footprint. SCORE proudly offers a wide variety of products to provide customers with a one-stop shop for all your soccer needs. For more information, please visit scoresports.com.

Soccer.com

Soccer.com

Soccer.com, the Foundation’s National Partner for Soccer Equipment and Uniforms, was founded in 1984 to provide high quality soccer gear at reasonable prices through its nationally circulated catalog. Soccer.com embodies a passion for the game that extends to the people who play, coach and support soccer. For more information, please visit soccer.com.

 

 

 

Target

Target

Target announced a national partnership with Safe Places to Play in 2017, along with a $6 million commitment to build 100 new soccer play spaces with the U.S. Soccer Foundation by 2020. This is the latest initiative in the Minneapolis-based retailer’s multi-dimensional approach to the sport of soccer, bringing the game to more kids and families across the country, and unlocking access and increasing involvement at all levels.

Telemundo

Telemundo

The U.S. Soccer Foundation and Telemundo are joining efforts to advance soccer as a means for helping children in underserved communities reach their full potential, including supporting the Foundation’s signature Soccer for Success youth program, which provides free or low-cost soccer programs during and after school at more than 250 sites nationally. Telemundo will also serve as the first official and exclusive Spanish-language media partner of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. For more information visit https://www.telemundo.com/el-poder-en-ti.

TGI Worldwide

TGI Worldwide

TGI Worldwide, the Foundation’s National Partner for Visual Branding (Signage, Event Décor, Pageantry, Sponsorship Activation), Perimeter Field Board Systems, Creative Services and Event Operations is proud to support a variety of initiatives and programs throughout the United States. Headquartered in the U.S., TGI is an internationally recognized sports marketing company delivering high profile Visual Branding, Live Event Management, LED, and cutting edge Digital Sports Applications to enrich the experience at major events and deliver commercial impact for sponsors and partners. The company has a 20-year history in providing its various solutions for many top-tier domestic and international events, organizations, teams and companies, with proven success and turn-key solutions across 1000+ events, 160+ cities and 50+ countries globally.

For more information on our services, please visit https://www.worldwidetgi.com or contact Mike Squire at msquire@worldwidetgi.com / Phone: 312-371-5852.

World Soccer Shop

World Soccer Shop

Launched in 2001, World Soccer Shop is an online soccer retailer based in Birmingham, Alabama. It carries one of the world’s widest selections of officially-licensed products from the sport’s top brands and teams. World Soccer Shop is passionate about soccer and endeavors to spread the beautiful game around the world, especially to those in areas of need. For more information, please visit www.worldsoccershop.com.

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