LA Galaxy vs D.C. United
The first LA Galaxy Friday night game marked the end of school and start of summer for many of the children invited to the Galaxy’s match versus D.C. United. At this particular game, all branches of military were honored in the Galaxy’s annual Military Appreciation Night. The club recognized all military men and women for their hard work, altruism, and sacrifices. Before the game kicked-off, the fun started outside The Home Depot Center at the Radio Disney booth. Radio Disney held a dance-off competition with some of the Kicks for Kids participants from Berendo Middle School’s Healthy Start program, Boys & Girls Club of San Gabriel Valley, and Casa de Amigos.
After the Kicks for Kids groups picked up their tickets, the first stop was Soccer Fest, where groups like City of Compton Park & Recreation, Asian Youth Center, and AYSO Region 514 made personalized posters at the Sign Making Station. LAPD SouthEast PAL, LAPD Hollenbeck, and LA’s Best visited the US Army booth and competed in a one-minute pull-up challenge. As the stadium music began, this signaled to the Kicks for Kids’ groups the match was about to begin.
For the first time this season, the Kicks for Kids section attempted to start the wave to get the crowd excited in hopes the entire stadium would join. The wave was instigated by the children who sat closest to the field and made its way to the top of section 127. After a couple tries, the kids successfully accomplished a wave that inspired fans in sections 125,126, and 128 to get on their feet and join in on the fun. Although, the wave did not make it around the entire stadium the NorthEast corner of the stadium were entertained thanks to the Kicks for Kids’ high spirits.
During the game, there was a number of close chances to score by both the LA Galaxy and D.C. United. Galaxy forwards Mike Magee and Chad Barrett kept the game neck to neck and the Kicks for Kids section on the edge of their seats. Galaxy midfielder David Beckham almost scored as he crossed a ball into the penalty box in the late second half that was almost converted into the net by Barrett. The cross ball had the Kicks for Kids section on their feet but D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid made a skillful save to keep the match at 0-0.
The final 0-0 score of the match did not accurately reflect the children’s enthusiasm, as they all left the game in high spirits as if the Galaxy had won. Their experience was a memorable one and was made possible by the LA Galaxy Foundation and Kicks for Kids Community Partners.