Friday, November 17, 2006

5k Benefit Race a success

Last weekend Street Soccer 945 was back in action at Belmont Abbey College participating in their 5k race for Hunger Week at the college. Team members Pop45, Tony Kelley, Aubrie Finley, Chuck Allen, Cyrus Wuor and Ty were joined by James Gathings (writer and photography class member) and volunteer Brandon Bayes. On Friday we went out and met the race coordinators and help spray paint the course and assist with the set-up and on Saturday Tony and I were the representative racers for the team while Pop, James, Brian and Chuck helped with the cheering and sharing of Street Soccer 945 stories. When the race started Tony and I shot out of the gate into the lead waving our hands but were eventually passed by the more fit college students. Tony has never been one to shoot out in front when it comes to achieving his fitness goals so I was hoping for him just to finish and though there was under the breath cursing and chest burning, we kept our legs moving and found a breathing rythm and were able to finish the race sprinting down Abbey Lane and breaking through the red tape. After the race Michael O'Hearn, race coordinator, presented Street Soccer with a check for $1035.45 and Pop graciously thanked everyone for their support. Our thanks was and is passed onto Michael, Merriam, Ruth Payne, Corein Brown, and everyone involved with Hunger Week at Belmont Abbey College.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Partnership With Trinity Continues

About 40 third graders screamed a hero's welcome to members of Street Soccer 945 when they visited Trinity Episcopal School for the first time since returning from South Africa. Street Soccer 945 split up and scrimmaged amongs the kids. The smiles and relaxed expressions on the faces of our players said it all. What was so striking to me was that I hadn't seen that level of relaxation on their faces ever. For the first time I saw our team for the ages they really are. You forget that Craig and C-White are only 19, just like Sycthe and Aubrie. And that Pop, Jay Allen, Cyrus, and Tony are in their early twenties.

It does so much good for our guys to present themselves in front of groups and to be seen for their accomplishments. The other week at Trinity, the players did most of their talking with their feet, but Craig showed them the boomerang the Australian team had given him, and they answered basic questions about their journey.

Teacher of the class, Tachi Delinger, mentioned to me a story she had heard from one of the parents. The saturday after our visit, it began to rain. The student looked preoccupied and the parent asked, what's a matter. The student said, "I am worried about the soccer players, won't they get cold in the rain." Then the child turned optimistic, "Maybe they found somewhere to stay dry." "Yeah, maybe they did," the parent responded. Congrats to Trinity for their service learning commitment and to our guys for being good ambassadors, putting a human face on homelessness. While many have moved off the street and some of them are able to rent a hotel room or stay at the shelter, many still do sleep out or camp out regularly. For many it is a hard thing to really grasp, but certainly this Trinity student empathized.

Art and Soccer Unite (thanks to Covenant)

Above, James Gathings, writer and photographer form Art Works 945, was a big help in setting up our exhibit for Covenant Presbyterian's Alternative Gift Fare. Beverly Cowan and Sam Hunt were other artists in attendance who were a big help. Sam actually graced us all with a baritone "Amazing Grace" rendition to close the evening. Female player Aubrie Finley, Scythe Fewell, Pop Miller, and Ray Isaac are all soccer players who also exhibited art.

The same evening Covenant honored our soccer team. Nine players and two coaches were introduced to the large crowd. Below goalie Scythe Fewell poses for a phot with a young fan who rocks his same style Gothic-T. Nice skull and crossbones!

Thanks to Covenant for their leadership and support. They raised 200 for the soccer team at the dinner in additon to the support they and their members give us year-round.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Please click on link above.
As part of Belmont Abbey College's Hunger Week, they are hosting a 5k Run/ 1 Mile Walk. We are grateful and honored that "The Abbey," as the students call it, has chosen Street Soccer 945 as the benficiary of their event. Street Soccer 945 players will be involved in setting up for the event and also running in it as we get in shape for our winter season. Many thanks to Michael O'Hearn and Ruth Payne and all those at Belmont Abbey for their hard work!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Street Soccer Video on Fox

Click on the title above to link to a report about our team by Bob Buckley

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

World Cup 06 Photos!

Dave and Craig have landed. These two fight like brothers as they vie to be the team's "cutest" member. Here they get pumped up during openning day.

Here Dave models the stars and stripes. The stadium is immediately behind him. Behind that the historic court house and clock. Behind that, the unmistakable Table Top Mountain.

Here is Charlotte's Cyrus Wuor, a native of Liberia, with his countrymen.

I've told the story now often about Dave looking at the children, then mentioning to the coaches how sad it was that they were so hungry. He then left the stadium, brought the kids into the event, passed them the flag, and had them cheer for us. Here is a photo of Dave's fan club!

We could not escape the impression the 2005 team made on the world in Edinburgh. The Deputy Mayor of Cape Town in a public address called Ray Isaac by name and said to the audience that the spirit of the American team had stayed with her throughout the entire year since Edinburgh. Here is a portrait of last year's Stephanie Johnson of Charlotte. We chanced upon this portrait posted with four others in the castle which served as the media center for the Homeless World Cup. Notice Coach Rob's head poking in.

Check out the Cape Town coastline. To be honest, the most meaningful parts of the trip were the excursions we made away from the soccer tournament. There was the trip to the township during which we saw how the people really lived, and then there was the entire day we spent along the farthest reaches of the African continent. We saw whales jumping and flipping their tales, penguins darting underwater like torpedos, baboons stalking cars, and we experienced fellowship we will never forget.

C-white and Abusseyf

Guess Who? . . . . Michael Knight of DC and Dave McGregor of Charlotte

Here's our group at the penguin reserve--the penguins are behind us. the guy in the middle is a friend our team made from Liberia who took the excursion with us.

The lady in the center of this picture was our host. She is the principle of Rochamaniyah School where the team slept.

Dave was close friends with the Paraguayan team--they had four 16 year old girls on their team!

Goodbye to the crowds!

We remembered our sponsors on top of Table Top Mountain. Our camera ran our of batteries but here we are remembering DC United. We also remembered US Soccer, Eurosport Passback, Covenant Presbterian, Big Ben's, Coca Cola Bottling, Bank of America, of course the Urban Ministry Center, and so many other individuals and groups that made our life changing trip possible. Thank you!

And of course, on top of Table Top, we didn't forget where we came from!
God Bless America

Two sets of brothers

Brothers Dave and Michael

Michael also made the national team but his new job prevented him from taking up the offer. He is very focused on making the team next year. I post this picture of them today because of our capricious encounter this afternoon. Rob and I left our extend staff meeting and headed to Charlotte Emergency Housing to pay Dave a visit. As we passed Phieffer street where dinner is served for those on the street we saw the soccer crowd. There was Dave and Michael with the rest of the gang. As it was wednesday, the two had walked over to see if there was a game.

It was good timing for the two of them. When the family had hit the street, Michael, 19, found a friend whose parent allowed him to stay for a while. Michael informed me that seeing how Dave's mother was having a hard time getting enough work to get out of emergency housing, he was going to leave the home he was staying in to move in with Dave and his mother in order to help them all get an apartment. Michael's idea is to keep on working for a month, in the meantime, to help his mother find work, and to move out, the three of them, come November. So Rob and I rode Michael and Dave out to Michael's former home and picked up his shoes, a large duffle, and his winter jacket, and took them back over to Charlotte Emergency Housing. He had no other easy way to transport the stuff.

It was good to hear that Dave had an easy transition back to school and thought he would be prepared for his exams next Monday. Michael wants our help getting his GED and pell grant. He has concrete plans for achieving the American dream. IF he can not misstep over the next two years, I am sure he will achieve that dream. These two brothers will help guide our program as examples for the other participants over the next six months. For me and my brother, it is great fortune to have them.

Street Soccer Reserves Do Us Proud at Home

toney kelly

Toney Kelly, 2005 Cup veteran, sat out the Cape Town trip while Street Soccer 945 went to represent the country in the World Cup. However, that didn't stop Toney from playing soccer. The Wednesday of our departure for South Africa coincided with the semifinals of our local league. Toney rallied the team along with Amil Livingston in the absence of the coaches and the core players. The two also recruited the help of Community Works 945Garden Guru, Don Boekelheide for transportation. Our three women and several of the other Street Soccer Reserves formed a team and represented us in the semifinals, saving us the shame of our first ever forfeit. Although they lost 15-0, the group deserves an amazing amount of credit for putting forth such and effort to get a ride, wash the uniforms, and gather the equipment. It is a true testimony to the importance the activity of soccer carries for them. Vive el Futbol! Great Job Street Soccer!

Hot and Cold

craig holley

We took time in the middle of of the tournament to visit one of the townships in District 6.

The first stop was a community center not unlike the Urban Ministry Center. The director was a playwright. Posters of her productions graced the walls of her office. She answered emails at her computer while counseling two people reclined on her couch. Downstairs local craftsmen exhibited their wares in the center as well. While one man who fashions trashcans, fan blades, cigarette containers, model airplanes, and sundry other items out of red aluminum coca cola cans gave us an enthusiastic presentation, you could hear the clicking of keyboards in the adjacent room where a resume-writing and job-searching class was taking place. On the corkboard in the hallway announcements and pamphlets about an anti-gun and anti-gang program were pinned up. What was most salient about the place was its immaculate cleanliness and the detailed craftmanship employed in the contruction and the decoration--relief murals and paint jobs, etc.

In a small courtyard we joined an impromptu dance with youth who were choreagraphing their own group performance. We left the center and our conversations with the people there reluctantly.

We followed our guide to his blacksmith shop, a non profit venture where they train blacksmiths while also selling their work. Craig said, "I feel like I am home." Our guide handed Craig and piece of iron and showed him how to hold it in the fire till it glowed. He beat it across the anvil, stretching it, and curling it as he pleased. Craig took the hammer and the iron and moved it back and forth from the fire, weaving around of the other young men in the progam, each holding iron glowing orange with fire. I realized absractly how incredibly dangerous the situation was, but the sure movement and fearless understanding of the workers in front of me had an air of infallibilty. I had to admit, the workroom was completely safe.

I sat back and watched Craig hammer away at the maleable orange iron. I looked at the slight smile coupled with the concentration on his face. I looked at C-white who was talking with Michael from DC. This is what all this intervention is like, all the hours and after hours, the conversations, the frustrations, the high fives, the driving, the running, the cleaning together. We do it everyday, warm each other to the point that we can change our forms as human beings. Then there is the difficult part. The part I experienced after the trip, after the two days additional shelter we provided in Charlotte, when those who had moved into places had gone back into those places, and when those who had nowhere to go had to go back out on their own into the evening. I see it everyday, the cooling that takes place at night, the hardenning. You develop a relationship, you get to an understanding and everyone involved draws conclusions. Then the night comes, the rain, the cold . . . the community ends for several hours. You see the same people in the morning and they look at you like strangers. They haven't eaten, they are cranky until the day heats up (if it does at all) and the blacksmithing begins, and always ends too early. You think how much could be resolved if these folks just weren't homeless.

We were due back at our game but it was hard dragging Craig out of the blacksmith shop. He took time to shake every person's hand and ask their name. Jeff bought Craig a momento from the shop--you would have thought he bought him a new car. When we got to the van, half the players were missing. We searched up the alley, back in the building. They were nowhere to be found. Finally a local said he had seen them. We caught sight of Abussey in the distance. Our players were wandering the through the laberynth of quiet tin shantis, divided by narrow dirt footpaths, happhazardly dividing the makeshift abodes into a sort of grid pattern. C-white was squatting in a woman's hut with his camera. Michael was rounding a corner with the cautious reverence of someone in the most holy of precincts. The extent of these homes was vast, seemingly as vast as the open sky above us. You could see how vast because not a single one was even six feet hight. It was so quiet you could here the light breeze brush across the dirt and loose fabric. There our team was, in South Africa.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Off to Dream Land (with ABC News)

Off to dream land (with ABC NEWS)

Craig and C-White hang out with luggage in front of the check out line at Newark Airport.
James Wang of ABC news traveled with us to the airport and interviewed all our guys for a feature on ABC news with Charles Gibson for their webcast. GO to ABCcom. Craig Holley made a great distinction, saying he was never homeless, that no of his teammates were homeless, they were just lost, homeless was when you give up and don’t want for yourself, we was just lost, and soccer has helped us get found.”

In the interviews our guys overcame their travel fatigue to reluctantly talk about reality, about their past, and about our team. What we will encounter in Cape Town will in no way resemble reality, it will be a week of exchange and spectacle that happens for folks but once in a lifetime. I am giddy with anticipation.



Craig and Scythe were not in the photos of our first national team practice because they weren’t at the practice. To give some background, Craig and Scythe were both taken away from their families because of their fathers' drug addictions. Craig had not seen his mother in 6 years when he was 13 years old. Scythe hadn’t seen his mother in nearly 3 years. Scythe had talked about meeting up with his brother since he found out he was on the national team a few weeks ago, but it wasn’t until the plane ride to new york that Craig turned to me, “hey yo lawrence, is alright if I spend the night with my mother?” I gulped. What mother? I wondered what new family history I was about to hear. Craig had not talked to his mother at all, he just said he was going to go find her. I looked at him, trying to gather some clue from his face as to what was going on. Craig had on a hard stare. But unlike the other stare that Craig used to wear so often, the one meant to intimidate, the gangsta stare, this one was different. The face and eyes were deathly still, the eyebrows lowered, the chin tucked—nothing materially different. I can only say that his gaze was not outward, but rather inward. I just looked back and without a moment’s thought, I said, yes Craig, of course. I tried to convey a tone of seriousness, that I understood what he was conveying about the importance of his search, but at the sametime, it was more a reaction, or a decision that came from somewhere lower in my body, not my head. And unlike any decsion I have ever made with my head, I harbored no anxiety or stress about it. C-white told me I was crazy,”Do you know what Brooklyn is like at night? Do you know Craig? Did you really let him go?” Craig spent two nights in New York with his mom and his sister. He said he had been told lies. His mom is very ill, but she was not on her deathbed. He had told me he worried he might find out she had passed, and in that case, he didn't know if he could go to South Africa. We asked Craig that he return around 6 am in the morning the day of our flight. The truth his we prefered he slept with us that night, but his mother got on the phone and insisted to Rob that she would get him up and send him on the way if he could please stay. Craig called me at 5:30 to say he was heading our way. I said, that’s fine, how long will it take. 45 minutes, he responded. You’ve got plenty of time, but go ahead and getting moving so we won’t have to rush and everything will be relaxed. Craig, I added, I am proud of you. I don’t know what right I had to say that. But for all he struggles with still, he has done some amazing things. He returned with the demeanor of an adult,; he seemed to have aged 10 years. He says he’d really like to move back to new york some day soon to live near his mom and his sister. Can you believe it, he said, all these years they’ve been lying to me, saying my mom didn’t want me, was too sick to have me around. Why do people want to do you like that?” He protested rhetorically in a calm, even tone and tranisitioned into the next subject.

Scythe’s reunion was less dramatic. Actually from my perspective it was a sneak attack. In the lobby of the hostel I saw Scythe talking to two older people, who looked, in the context of the hostel, like some older european travelers from hungary or austria that he had befriended. Then two peole came up from the basement. Scythe said, hey, this is my brother and my sister in law. I chatted them up for a while and asked how dinner went with Scythe. They said they were so exctied for him and happy he was doing so well for himself. I didn’t make the connection that the hungarian looking women with crippled knees was Scythe’s mother and that the man with her was her fiancee. Scythe, how come you didn’t introduce me when they where here? I complained to him. I though I did, he said back and smiled blankly. Scythe was a quesiton mark for this trip based on his attitude during the national tournament, but has been an absolute delight and ease to date. Being able to reconnect with his family with such a positive report of how he is doing has had no small part in his demeanor. He is the same Sycthe only relieved of the anger, paranoia, and tension I have to so strongly associated with his character, but which so obviously obfuscate rather than define his true self.

Here is Scythe the morning of our departure helping strangers load up their Van. The first grouped thanked his so geuinely that he hung around and helped other travelers load up their loads. He had time to do it too since he woke up at 6 and was packed and had eaten breakfast by 7, 3 and a half hourse before our shuttle was scheduled to come pick us up.

National Team Practice

First National team practice:

We got together, the Charlotte crowd, Micael Knight from DC, Abusseyf from New York, and Justin, the organizer from Philaedelphia, and went for a jog along the Hudson River at dusk. We played soccer right there on the riverside concrete. Here’s Cyrus in US NationalTeam colors showing his skills.

Day3: Immigration/Visas

Day 3

The South African Embassy issues all our travel visas without question! Last year UK Visas denied all our players visas to participate in the homeless world cup, because, well, they were homeless. The stressful encounter at immigration in Glasgow broke our way thanks to the purview of Gavin White, a customs official who had the courage to disregard his colleges, and put himself on the line to do what he thought was right. Gavin, if you still keep up with our site, know we are eternally grateful. Needless to say, I was overjoyed at the visas and was slapping our players high fives; none of them being on the team last year, they all looked at me as if to say, “who’s this goofball.”

After the south african embassy we took Cyrus’s Liberian travel document to US Immigration on 26 Federal Plaza to get a routine stamp that would allow him to return to the US (his lost green card is on reorder). Three hours after our appointment time they called us up. They took Cyrus’s passport in the back and didn’t return. Finally they only returned to tell us to have a seat for at least and hour, that they would call us. Any mere arrest, not even a conviction, would Trigger such a search, we later learned. In that moment we were just told that something had come up in his background. If you see the preoccupied look on Cyrus’ face in this picture, it’s the residual fright of a helpeless scare only an immigrant can understand, having your documents in someone else’s hand, knowing that you are held to a different standard than others around you, knowing that if they were not to hand back that little blue booklet and wanted to start deportation proceedings, your whole life would be turned upside down.

After spedning from noon until 4:45 in a the immigration waiting room, we watched the immigration official press a 2 month reentry seal down on the that little light blue booklet that he subsequently handed back to Cyrus. Cyrus had quite smoking a week ago in anticipation of the competition. When we got outside he stopped the first passer by, and handed him a quarter for a little white stick.

First Flight

First Flight:

Dave flew here from Panama and Craig had flown once when he was four, but doesn’t actually remember it; so this wan’t their first flight ever (as it was for so many of the 2005 participants, but it was their first flight towards Cape Town. Here you see Dave posing (he should be studying) and Craig studying (he’s actually writing rap lyrics) on the Jet Blue flight from Charlotte to NYC. Dave is a student at West Charlotte High School and has assignments for all his classes to complete during the trip. He also has to give a report about attending the anniversary parade of Nelson Mandela’s release.

Day 2

Day 2:

As players Zenas Fewell (20 years old), Craig Holley (19), and Dave McCregor (16) --pictured with purple background-- packed the Subaru and prepared for departure on Tuesday from Community Works 945 at the Urban Ministry Center in Charlotte, they did so with the good news that C-White had courgeously contacted his father who indeed delivered the papers overnight, causing The Department of State to iissue him his passport.

Day 1

Day 1

Matt secures his passport in DC and Rob and C-White find out that their document quest was not as much of a sure bet as their research had promised them: C-White’s birth certificate could not serve as proof of citizenship because he was born in Korea. The solution, track down C-White’s dad with whom he hadn’t spoken in two years to secure his adoption papers, and have them fedexed overnight to DC.

The high spirits of the previous week had risen up up and away. With C-White’s status doubtful, Matt and the coaches had to make the difficult decision together that Matt would not travel past D.C., but return to Charlotte and resume his job and Corinthian Construction instead of heading on to Cape Town. This was tough news, especially after two Street Soccer players who were slated for spots on the national team, had to forfeit their positions just two weeks earlier. One was stopped by the police after an altercation with an old man,. An old warrant from 8 years earlier that had never turned up during the passport application process showed up on the policeman’s computer screen and landed him in jail. As if this wasn’t hard enough to swallow, another player who had made tremendous personal strides and who went from someone without a chance to make the national team, to a traveling member of it with passport in hand, suffered a costly lapse of judgement. Thieves will often seek out peope in need on the street to try to cash checks they have stolen or forged, and in turn for taking the risk, receive a small percentage of the toatal. Instead of earning some quick spending money for Cape Town, our player watched hi scheme and his whole dream vanish before his very eyes.

road to capetown

The Road to Cape Town.

The road to Cape Town for a couple players like Zenas “Scythe” Fewell and Craig Holley began over a yeat ago.

For others such as Cyrus Wuor, Matt Jules, and C-White the road to Cape Town looked like it might end in Washington or New York. Rob Cann and these three were officially the first three to travel when the left Charlotte Sunday afternoon in Rob’s car. The day prior, spirits were high as the Big Ben World Cup Send Off turned out to be a great success, raising nearly 1,200 dollars the team’s travels.

It was during the Big Ben event that we could start to wrap our minds around just what a fantastic voyage we were about to undertake. Players talked of climbing mountains, of how it was it too expensive to go from South Africa to Egypt to see the Pyramids, and how far away was Mecca?

All in all Saturday was an odd day of transition. Just the Wednesday prior, Street Soccer had won it’s biggest game ever, defeating Team Austin to reach the Semi Finals of the local league championship. This was not only our first ever semifinal but our first ever time qualifying for the playoffs. The game was serious test. Our oppents came out aggressive, committing several fouls early on and sending the coaching staff into a fit. The players understood the coaches message: we will defend you, you just play the game. Play the game we did. After playing man down after a retaliation foul by coach rob, the team entered the second half down 2 to nil. Two goals by Dave Mc Cregor and leadership from Cyrus Wuor made the difference in the second half as Street Soccer kept its composure and took the lead 3-2. Then with seconds remaining Zenas Fewell who had played a great game got caught out of position as he charged a ball prematurely and left an empty net open for the oppents to level the score. The game ended in a tie but a last minute foul and 2 minute penalty meant Street Soccer would have to play a man down until the penalty was over. Before the penalty time was played, the referee told the squads that the extra time would be golden goal (first team to score wins). With just five men to to the opponents’s six, Street Soccer managed a counter attack and goal which they believed secured them victory. However,Team Austin race back and score a goal while Street Soccer celebrated. The referee ruled the game a tie and Street Soccer managed to finish the penal time without conceding a second goal. At the point the team really came together, determined not to lose. Dave’s third goal of the match on a smoothly slotted strike after throwing a fake to the goalie finally secured Street Soccer the Victory.

At times over the past few season you might have watched us lose games and walked away concluding that people are homeless because they are unlucky, no ifs ands or buts, they just can’t buy a break. Last Wednsday, the group found a way to win the instead of ways to lose the very same sort of game that always eluded them.

Could this victory speak to a change of luck for the american team in Cape Town.


We’re a little late posting this photo, but we want to thank the folks at myers park baptist and the hard working tim deane for the great scrimmage they gave out team. What can you say, a great time was had by all.

Friday, September 15, 2006

National Team player lead the way in Charlotte

C Whyte and Craig Holley share headphones as they get pumped up for their semifinal league match. Street Soccer 945 won 5-4 in overtime behind a hat trick from 16 year old Dave McGregor in a fiercely competative match which many fouls and one red card. Craig and C Whyte join Dave, Matt Jules, Cyrus Wuor, and Zenas Fewell on the national team which will travel next week to South Africa for the 2006 Homeless World Cup in Cape Town.

It really happened (photos by Mae Lambing)

A certain magic in the air that I wrote about last year after the Homeless World Cup 2005 in Edinbrugh (read the photo essay at by clicking on the first photo) sparkled right before our eyes at the first ever USA Cup in Charlotte, so plain and obvious, so perfectly reasoable in its glory, that experiencing it, one would almost forget that, whatever it was, it was not the most commonplace natural thing one could imagine, but rather entirely preposterously beautiful and abnormal, and most certainly above all else magical.

56 players from across the country, all of whom have been recently or currently are homeless, came to Charlotte for the first ever Homeless USA Cup. Publicity surrounding the event reached well over 40 million impressions nation wide, putting a human face on homelessness and challenging common notions of what homeless people are capable of when given the chance.

One player wrote in chalk on the center city parking lot where the matches were played, "For three days I was not homeless, I was part of the community." Humanizing social activities, in particular soccer, help folks who feel disconnected and isolated in their lives integrate back into society. Clearly the first Homeless USA Cup was a great catalyst for scores of individuals to make big changes in their lives. The social service agencies who have taken on soccer as a program are perfectly positioned to channel their players energy effectively towards achieving their personal goals.

In photographs attached below you will so people who are homeless from ages ranging from 14 to 56. You will see men reunited with their daughters, young men looking up to old men, teammates rallying around one another, volunteers working with not for those they serve, as well as terrific athletes showcasing their skill and determination.

The week began with Street Soccer 945's local league game, followed by a County Commissioner's meeting where a resolution declaring it Homeless Soccer Week in Charlotte was read by Commissioner Jennifer Roberts. When players arrived on thursday they signed in with their team, were assigned an email address, were taught blogging basics, had their idea badge made by our photography teacher and his students, and were send off for dinner with their host churches.

After Thursday players trained at Freedom Park, trained at Freedom Park, scrimmaged on the zoom soccer street soccerpark at Covenanty Presbyterian and attended a Meet the Player Mixer at Covenants as well sponsored by fuel pizza and featuring delicious hommade desserts from the folks at Covenenant. The the live music and games began, culminating in the announcement of the US National Team on Sunday Evening. What was amazing was how much soccer people palyer from the moment they arrived, all through the night in the church gyms, and all day on the sweltering blacktop. For more details about the photos send and email to Thanks!