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Dems Stage Theatrical Comeback to Reclaim Title as Congressional Soccer Match Champions

By Amy Kuehn | May 3, 2022

Dems Stage Theatrical Comeback to Reclaim Title as Congressional Soccer Match Champions! WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Congressional Soccer Match – this year presented by the U.S. Soccer Federation – returned in all its excitement, convening embassy employees, Members of Congress, sports legends, Hill staffers, and soccer fans in support of the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s proven, life-changing programs for children in underserved communities. In their first meeting since…

Sanneh’s Very Own Eco Ambassadors!

By Selena Moua | October 21, 2021

Sanneh’s Very Own Eco Ambassadors! Our Sanneh youth learned about local and global waste reduction, and the importance of loving our planet! Eco Day at Conway Former MLB Mercenary Chris Dickerson at Conway. In acknowledgment of International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste Reduction last month, our local youth at Sanneh engaged in an environmental literacy workshop. The event highlighted the importance of food consumption, waste reduction and sorting through trash and recyclables.…

Summer Highlight: Jimmy Lee Soccer Camp’s Happy Camper, Asa!

By Selena Moua | October 12, 2021

Summer Highlight: Jimmy Lee Soccer Camp’s Happy Camper, Asa! Returning to more normal summer activities after more than a year of social isolation was not always easy. That is where having a staff of coaches trained in positive developmental relationships helped young people like Asa reengage in play and physical activity. It’s October as the leaves begin to fall. We’ve finally made it to the end of summer and that means that our summer camps…

THE SANNEH FOUNDATION RECOVERY EFFORTS AT CONWAY COMMUNITY CENTER;

By Amy Kuehn | June 20, 2021

FIRE TO PART OF THE BUILDING PUTS PARTNERSHIPS INTO ACTION IN SUPPORT OF EAST SIDE YOUTH AND FAMILIES St. Paul, MN. (June 20, 2021)  – In the very early morning of Sunday, June 20, 2021 the Conway Community Center on St. Paul’s East Side was the scene of a fire at the west entrance to the building. The building was empty when the fire occurred, and there were no physical injuries. The building’s entryway and…

Sanneh Launches TikTok Account to Reach out to Youth

By Agnes O | June 18, 2021

The Sanneh Foundation is now on TikTok! The Foundation launched our new social media account this Thursday. The account will highlight the day-to-day ongoing activities of Sanneh and our team, starting with summer soccer and basketball camps.  The new platform is a great space to interact with young people. The Sanneh Foundation has always centered our actions on youth participation and youth engagement; our youth workforce feeds families, mentors students, and teaches youth sports camps.…

Sanneh Spotlight: Shannon DeMuth

By Agnes O | May 7, 2021

Sanneh Spotlight: Shannon DeMuth Snapshot Shannon DeMuth is a Dreamline Coach at North High School. She enjoys being outside, traveling, hiking, spending time with her family and friends, and dining out for Italian food and tacos. She likes to listen to all kinds of music  (except heavy metal music). Her favorite artists are Khalid, Post Malone, and P!NK. Working with a Struggling Student:  We were allowed to bring in a small number of students into…

Welcoming Olivia Antilla

By Agnes O | April 22, 2021

Welcoming Olivia Antilla   Sanneh is welcoming Olivia Antilla who has accepted employment at the Foundation as the Conway Community Center Program Manager. As the Conway Community Center program manager Olivia will assist with the organization, marketing, setup, supervision, and coaching of Sanneh camps as well as other Sanneh programming at the Conway Community Center. Olivia graduated from Florida A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Agribusiness. While at Florida A&M, she played…

Tony Sanneh’s Statement on the Derek Chauvin Verdict

By Agnes O | April 20, 2021

As a community-serving organization, and as a Black male CEO of a nonprofit focused on equitably serving youth and families from multiple racial and ethnic communities, I believe that no outcome in the trial of Derek Chauvin ends the systemic issues and racial inequity we face and experience daily as people of color.  While we at The Sanneh Foundation applaud that legal justice was done in the trial of Derek Chauvin, and rightfully expect justice…

Sanneh Spotlight: Abdallah Bah

By Agnes O | April 15, 2021

Sanneh Spotlight: Abdallah Bah The Sanneh Spotlight series introduces Sanneh members to the world on a personal level. Through interpersonal interviews, Spotlight aims to build connections between community members and the Sanneh team. Abdallah (center) Snapshot:  Abdallah Bah was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and raised in Brooklyn Park, MN. He is a Dreamline Coordinator and Coach in the Metro Region at North High School. He has been with the Sanneh Foundation for 5 months.…

Sanneh Spotlight: Alexander Reigelsperger

By Agnes O | April 14, 2021

Sanneh Spotlight: Alexander Reigelsperger Sanneh Spotlight returns! The series introduces Sanneh members to the world on a personal level. Through interpersonal interviews, Spotlight aims to build connections between community members and the Sanneh team. Snapshot:  Alexander is a Dreamline Coach at North High School. Alex is originally from Dayton, Ohio, and has been at Sanneh for 6 months. He has a soft spot for Greek food, his favorite meal is baklava and gyros. Alex is…

Soccer Match

Dems Stage Theatrical Comeback to Reclaim Title as Congressional Soccer Match Champions!

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Congressional Soccer Match – this year presented by the U.S. Soccer Federation – returned in all its excitement, convening embassy employees, Members of Congress, sports legends, Hill staffers, and soccer fans in support of the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s proven, life-changing programs for children in underserved communities. In their first meeting since the 2019 event, Republicans and Democrats went head-to-head at D.C. United’s Audi Field to compete for the coveted 2022 Congressional Soccer Match title. Ultimately, the Democrats reigned victorious.

The scoring opened in the 14th minute of the game when Rep. Anthony Gonzalez curled the ball back post around goalkeeper Rep. Tom Milanowski. The Republicans again were up on the scoresheet after a handball in the Democrats’ box, after which Rep. Mike Gallagher found the net off a penalty kick. It was just before halftime that the Dems found their way back into the game when ESPN’s Sebastian Salazar slotted the ball past Republican goalkeeper Rep. Blake Moore. The first half score finished Republicans, 2, Democrats, 1.

Washington Spirit players appeared in full force as they were celebrated at half time for earning the championship title during the 2021 NWSL season. DC SCORES poet athletes also performed their spoken word poetry for the crowd.

The second half of the Congressional Soccer Match saw no shortage of activity. Three minutes in, Brian McMillan, Senior Counsel for Rep. Eric Swalwell, quickly capitalized and brought the score 2-2. Just two minutes later, President of Club Operations for the Washington Spirit and former D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen gave the Dems the lead with an excellently timed header. Ben Olsen’s Washington Spirit colleague and former USMNT player Lee Nguyen quickly followed suit with another goal a couple minutes later to strengthen the Democrats’ lead. With five minutes to play, Santino Quaranta found the net to bring the Republicans back into the game. Akin to their combination play in the 2019 Match, Ben Olsen and Eric Fins, Deputy Staff Director for Rep. Kathy Castor, combined on a play that left Fins one on one with the goalie after a through ball from Olsen. Fins found the back of the next with two minutes to play. At the final whistle, the Democrats came out victorious with a final score of Republicans, 3, Democrats, 5.

“We’ve been waiting a long time to get back on the pitch, and it showed tonight,” said Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “The Congressional Soccer Match is a special event where people from all over the country and the world come together and can speak the same language in support of this game we all love. We’re thrilled our friends at U.S. Soccer joined us as presenting sponsor this year and we are grateful for all who came out to support programs helping transform children’s lives in underserved communities.”

While the 2022 FIFA World Cup will not take place until later this year, 21 embassy teams representing their countries kicked off the night of festivities in a friendly, mini-World Cup-style tournament, with game production run by District Sports, a local non-for-profit organization connecting D.C. residents through soccer. Following eight small-sided matches, the Embassy of Croatia took home the first-place trophy after defeating the United Kingdom II team by a narrow score of 2-1. Senator Todd Young was in attendance to present the trophy. For a full list of embassy tournament scores, visit this link.

Following the Congressional Soccer Match, Hill staffers and federal employees laced up their boots for the Staffer Tournament, played under the lights at Audi Field.

All proceeds from the Congressional Soccer Match support the U.S. Soccer Foundation to help expand its proven programs nationwide.
Through its proven programs, the U.S. Soccer Foundation provides underserved communities access to innovative play spaces and evidence-based soccer programs that instill hope, foster well-being, and help youth achieve their fullest potential. By 2026 the Foundation aims to engage 1 million youth in its sports-based youth development programming and install 1,000 mini-pitches in undeserved neighborhoods. To date, more than 400,000 children have been engaged in its Soccer for Success program and nearly 500 mini-pitches have been created and are open for play in communities across the country.

2022 Congressional Soccer Match Participants

Democrats:

  • Sally Brown-Shaklee, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of Rep. Dick Durbin (D-IL)
  • Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL)
  • Colleen Carlos, Chief of Staff, Office of Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA)
  • Joel Cohen, Legislative Director, Office of Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV)
  • Mike Cullina, CEO, US Club Soccer
  • Eamon Finan, Bloomberg
  • Eric Fins, Deputy Staff Director, Office of Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL)
  • Miguel Franco, Telemundo
  • Smith Hunter, U.S. Soccer Youth National Team
  • Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA)
  • Lori Lindsey, Former member, U.S. Women’s National Team
  • Joanna Lohman, Former member, U.S. Women’s National Team
  • Rocky McIntosh, Former member, NFL, Philanthropist
  • Brian McMillan, Senior Counsel, Office of Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
  • Devon McTavish, Former member, D.C. United, Current Color Analyst, D.C. United Broadcast
  • Rep. Tom Milanowski (D-NJ)
  • Zachary Mitchiner, Communications Department, Office of Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
  • Lee Nguyen, Assistant Coach, Washington Spirit & Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team
  • Ben Olsen, President of Club Operations, Washington Spirit, Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team and D.C. United
  • Luis Rosero, Telemundo
  • Sebastian Salazar, Host, Reporter and Play-by-Play Announcer, ESPN Networks
  • Tony Sanneh, Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team
  • David Sutphen, U.S. Soccer Foundation Board Member
  • Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV)
  • Sarah Towels, PepsiCo

Republicans:

  • Jeff Agoos, SVP of Competition and Medical Administration, MLS & Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team
  • Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE)
  • Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX)
  • Matthew Dunn, Bloomberg
  • Luciano Emilio, Former member, D.C. United
  • Fernando Fiore, Inter Miami CF Ambassador, TV presenter at TIGO SPORTS
  • Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI)
  • Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH)
  • Steve Hartell, Amazon
  • Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC)
  • Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL)
  • Doug Lyons, U.S. Soccer Foundation Board Member
  • Nicholas Mayhugh, Paralympian, Team USA
  • Rep. Blake Moore (R-UT)
  • Cindy Parlow Cone, President, U.S. Soccer, Former member, U.S. Women’s National Team
  • Santino Quaranta, Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team and D.C. United
  • Blake Randolph, Legislative Counsel, Office of Senator Rubio (R-FL)
  • Michael Rauber, Deputy Communications Director, Office of Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH)
  • Juergen Sommer, Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team & U.S. Soccer Foundation Board Member
  • Cully Stimson, U.S. Soccer Foundation Board Member
  • Rep. David Valadao (R-CA)
  • Megan Wharton, U.S. Women’s Beach Soccer National Team
  • Mark Williams, Ferox Strategies
  • Senator Todd Young (R-IN)

Special Guest:

  • Brian McBride, Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team

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. For more information visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

ABOUT THE CONGRESSIONAL SOCCER MATCH

In its 8th year, the Congressional Soccer Match is a widely attended event held in the nation’s capital that brings together Members of Congress, Hill staffers, athletes, corporations, embassies, and community leaders and organizations in support of one cause: using soccer to improve children’s lives on and off the pitch. All proceeds from the event will support the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs that provide underserved communities with access to innovative play spaces and evidence-based soccer programs. This year’s sponsors include U.S. Soccer Federation, Telemundo, adidas, Amazon, Bloomberg, D.C. United, The DICK’s Sporting Goods Foundation, Washington Spirit, PepsiCo, Blockchain Association, Congressional Federal Credit Union, Ferox Strategies, GEICO, U.S. National Teqball Federation, and Indigov.

Photo Credit: Jose Argueta