WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Republicans defeated the Democrats at D.C. United’s Audi Field to win the 7th annual Congressional Soccer Match. The event brought together embassy employees, Members of Congress, professional athletes, Hill staffers, and soccer fans – all in support of the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s proven, life-changing programs for children in underserved communities.
Professional soccer player and U.S. Soccer Foundation ambassador, William Oluremi John (“Will John”), was the first player to get on the scoreboard for the Republicans. Shortly thereafter, D.C. United head coach, Ben Olsen, and Legislative Counsel for Rep. Joe Kennedy III, Eric Fins, combined in the Democrats’ offensive corner. Ben Olsen then sent a ball into the box to former U.S. Men’s National Team player, Charlie Davies, who found the net with a perfectly-timed bicycle kick. Both Will John and Charlie Davies found the back of the net again before the end of the half, with former D.C. United legend, Luciano Emilio, adding to the Republican’s tally as well. The first half score finished Democrats, 2, Republicans, 4.
Washington Spirit players of the NWSL also appeared in full force as they interacted with guests on the concourse. At halftime, DC SCORES Soccer for Success participants took the pitch for a set of scrimmages, coached by Washington Spirit players Aubrey Bledsoe, Megan Crosson, Meggie Doughtery Howard, Tori Huster, Andi Sullivan, Paige Neilsen, and Sam Staab.
At the start of the second half, the Democrats responded with a goal from Clinton Britt, Chief of Staff for Rep. Paul Tonko. The Republicans were quick to increase their lead, however, with back-to-back goals from former U.S. Men’s National Team players and U.S. Soccer Foundation ambassadors, Cobi Jones and Brian McBride. The Democrats followed suit with two goals from Ben Olsen and Charlie Davies, but at the final whistle, the Republicans came out victorious with a final score line of 5-6.
“Year after year, we’ve seen Members of Congress, professional athletes, Hill staffers, and embassy employees from across the globe come together in support of the game we all love,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “Through our programs, children across the country are equipped to not only develop healthy life habits, but also learn from trained coach-mentors and develop critical life skills – all with just a ball, a few friends, and a safe place to play.”
The night kicked off with the Embassy Tournament, where representatives from 15 embassies and the U.S. State Department competed in a mini-World Cup style competition. After six small-sided matches, the Embassy of Denmark took home the first-place trophy after defeating Norway in the final. Former U.S. Women’s National Team player and U.S. Soccer Foundation ambassador, Heather O’Reilly, was in attendance to present the trophy.
Following the Congressional Soccer Match, Hill staffers and federal employees were able to take the pitch at Audi Field for the annual Staffer Tournament, which consisted of a friendly round-robin.
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 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 Congressional Soccer Match support the Foundation in reaching these goals and expanding its proven programs.
Congressional Soccer Match Rosters
Clinton Britt, Chief of Staff, Office of Rep. Paul Tonko
Colleen Carlos, Legislative Director, Office of Rep. Madeleine Dean
Rep. Sean Casten
Rep. Kathy Castor
Alison Cassady, Deputy Staff Director, Committee on the Climate Crisis, U.S. House of Representatives
Colin Cloherty, Former member, NFL
Charlie Davies, Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team
Rep. Madeleine Dean
Eric Fins, Legislative Counsel, Office of Rep. Joe Kennedy III
Jim Gabarra, Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team and U.S. Futsal
Rep. Rick Larsen
Ben Olsen, Head Coach, D.C. United
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell
Santino Quaranta, Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team and D.C. United
Diego Ruiz, PepsiCo
Robbie Russell, Former MLS player, Current MLS consultant
Arturo Sarukhan, Former Ambassador of Mexico to the United States
Sally Brown-Shaklee, Director of Operations, Senator Dick Durbin
RJ Stanford, Former member, NFL
Rep. Paul Tonko
Sarah Towles, PepsiCo
Lin Whitehouse, Director of Member Services, Office of Rep. James E. Clyburn
Rep. Don Bacon
Rep. Dan Crenshaw
Luciano Emilio, Former member, D.C. United
Hugh Fike, Legislative Director, Office of Rep. Michael Cloud
Carin Gabarra, Former member, U.S. Women’s National Team
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez
Rep. Garret Graves
Thomas Hester, Legislative Director, Office of Rep. Michael McCaul
William Oluremi John, Former member, Chicago Fire and Sporting KC
Cobi Jones, Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team
Rep. Darin LaHood
Adam Link, USMC Congressional Fellow, Office of Rep. Mac Thornberry
Amir Lowery, Montreal Impact and Carolina RailHawks
Josh Martin, Chief of Staff, Office of Rep. Mac Thornberry
Brian McBride, Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team
Roger “Rocky” McIntosh, Former member, NFL
Corey Norman, Chief of Staff, Office of Rep. John Curtis
Katie Patru, Vice President, Van Scoyoc Associates
Steven Smith, Communications Director, Office of Rep. French Hill
Mark Williams, Chief of Staff, Office of Rep. Mike Conaway
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.