Re-watch ceremony above
WASHINGTON – Leave it to President Barack Obama to put it best, the LA Galaxy are beginning to “get comfortable” at the White House, but that does not mean that visiting the President is any less of an honor for the two-time defending MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy.
On Tuesday, the Galaxy were honored at the White House for winning their second straight MLS Cup title in 2012. Unlike last year, they were alone as they were joined by the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, who are also owned by AEG.
WATCH: Mike Magee on visiting the White House
Although the Galaxy have visited the White House before, the accomplishment meant a great deal to the club.
“It’s incredible. It’s surreal coming here and for us to do it two years in a row and have the same president greet the guys, he knows a little bit more about us now and to be able to meet him is such an honor,” club President Chris Klein told LAGalaxy.com. “For the Galaxy as a club, it shows that we continue to be relevant time and time again. I think more importantly, for soccer in this country, it’s a big deal to have a special team celebrate with the President of the United States is something that we can all be proud of.”
During the President’s remarks, he reflected upon the Galaxy’s triumphant 2012 season even noticing the correlation between LA’s rise up the standings after their visit to see him last year.
“You can call it a coincidence, but I just want to point out that right after they visited with me, the Galaxy built the best record in the league,” Obama quipped.
Defender Todd Dunivant agreed.
“It’s funny because going back to where we were at this stage last year, we were obviously celebrating the championship, but it was a little bit of a different tone because we had started off so poorly and I think there was a feeling around the group that it wasn’t too good,” said Dunivant. “This time around it was a lot better feeling and a lot better start. Hopefully, the same result though.”
WATCH: Behind-the-scenes at the White House
But as he touched on their triumph, the President saved a little mention for Brazilian midfielder Juninho, who he stated was “dancing the samba” as LA lifted their second straight MLS Cup. After the President’s speech, Juninho was understandably emotional to receive such acclaim from Obama.
“Obama is my guy and always friendly. He always makes jokes and he made a joke about my samba and it was very nice,” Juninho told LAGalaxy.com. “Personally, it’s very emotional. The President of the United States said my name, so it’s very nice. I never thought this was going to happen and I’m feeling very happy.”
Following their visit with the President, Dunivant, Mike Magee, and Landon Donovan participated in a question and answer session with schoolchildren from across the country and assistant White House chef Sam Kass, who is the director of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” program, which promotes exercise and healthy eating.
The Galaxy trio was joined by three Kings players, captain Dustin Brown, defenseman Rob Scuderi and goaltender Jonathan Quick who informed the students on how their eating habits and exercise took them to the professional ranks. After brief introductions, the children asked a variety of questions including one about the sleeping the day after games, which Magee eloquently answered.
“After games it's usually hard to sleep and some days our coach is a bit meanie and makes us come in really early the next day after games,” Magee joked.
But after inspiring children and meeting the President, Dunivant admitted that the Galaxy are now hoping to make the White House visit for a third time next year.
“It never gets old, it’s a huge honor and a really nice perk of winning the championship,” said Dunivant. “We’d love to do it every year if we can.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com