Soccer 2005

Adam and his soccer team at one of their games.

Chasing down the ball.

The Adams pursuing goals for their team.

Adam takes a break on a hot day.

The final game of the year, with the unfortunate final score Red: 2, Blue: 1.

Coach Steve and the team after the last game.

The team won a sportsmanship award with free tickets to DC United for the kids and discounted tickets for everyone else. Here is Moreno kicking what will be DC United's first goal, after the referee called foul when he was knocked down. Adu didn't play until the last ten minutes, when United was up 2-1 and seemed on track to win; he made an assist on the third and clinching goal by Christian Gomez, who also scored the second, while the first came from a Jaime Moreno spot kick.

This was only the second MLS game I have ever attended, the first since Freddy Adu arrived in DC, and it was enormously fun. I loved being at a professional sports event announced in both English and Spanish. This is the man -- err, boy -- everyone wanted to see, number 9. I wondered how the older players who anchor the team felt about the screaming standing ovation Adu got when he came on the field.

Sorry about Adam's friend's father's shoulder being in this photo, I was just so excited that it came out at all: this is Adu's assist to Gomez who kicked the ball in for a goal.

The Screaming Eagles, devoted DC United fans who raise money for charity when they're not throwing confetti, waving pirate flags, displaying up an enormous banner that takes at least 20 people to hold up or banging drums to cheer on the team. This was just after a goal, when the big banner and whatever form of fairy dust they wave around were still up.

They gave the kids t-shirts, keychains and discount tickets to additional games (given the relatively empty stadium that last is not surprising). Some of the loot each young soccer player received (the blue fingers are from cotton candy). We left with four minutes on the clock, when the score was 3-1, and apparently missed another goal by the Kansas City Wizards, a fistfight and United having to finish the game short a player -- no sportsmanship prizes for them.

The mascot poses with some of the legions of kids at the game. I won't even pretend to be able to talk about strategy but it was a fast-paced game and far more fun to watch than soccer on television.

Here is Adam's team parading around the perimeter of the field. Not that you can really tell who's who from this distance!

Here is a pile of boys from Adam's team tossing peanuts to each other.

And here is Adam before the game in the kids' play area, where there was some jumping-and-scoring thing, as well as kicking practice, slides and music, plus free SpongeBob screensaver CDs.