A Bipartisan ‘Bend It Like Beckham’

by Lauryn Cantrell

Screams across the isle are sidelined to celebrate healthy lifestyles and raise awareness for the world’s most popular sport.

Photos by: Jose Argueta/ U.S. Soccer Foundation

Republicans defeated Democrats 6-5 at D.C. United’s Audi Field to win the 7th annual Congressional Soccer Match. The event brought together embassy employees, Members of Congress, professional athletes, Hill staffers and soccer fans – all in support of the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s programs for children in underserved communities.

Foreign officers from 16 embassies laced up to participate in a round robin-style, mini-World Cup competition. Soccer, internationally known as football, is the most popular sport in the world with over four billion fans. Families and friends sported their countries’ flags, parading support their country, while also revamping some historic rivalries. After defeating Norway in the final round, Denmark took home the trophy – as well as bragging rights – to tote around in the Embassy Row neighborhood.

“The game has become part of the fabric of American life”, says Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation. “But soccer is a universal language, so it’s important to get everyone in the D.C. community involved in support of the game we all love.

The friendly competition takes Members of Congress out of the hill’s corridors and onto Audi Field. This is the match’s first year at Audi Field since the arena opened in July 2018. Spotted were Captain for the Democrats, Rep. Kathy Castor, Captain for Team Rep. Rick Larsen, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, Rep. Mike Conway, former MLS player Robbie RussellCharlie Davis, former member of the U.S. Men’s National Team, and more.  Scroll down for the full roster.

The match serves to boost support for the game, as well as to inspire players. “I know what [athletics] does for families and what it does to lift young women and girls. It gives them confidence,” says Rep. Castor, co-chair of Congressional Soccer Caucus. “Look at how folks are inspired by the U.S. Women’s National Team. They are not only standing up for equal pay but displaying for everyone across the country that girls have their turn as well.”

“Through our programs, children across the country are equipped to not only develop healthy life habits, but also learn from trained coach-mentors and develop critical thinking skills – all with just a ball, a few friends, and a safe place to play,” says Foster-Simeon.

Proceeds from the match support the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s mission, ensuring children in underserved communities enjoy the health and youth development benefits of the game as part of their It’s Everyone’s Game movement and Soccer for Success, the Foundation’s after school program.




Clinton Britt, Chief of Staff, Office of Rep. Paul Tonko
Colleen Carlos, Legislative Director, Office of Rep. Madeleine Dean
Rep. Sean Casten
Rep. Kathy Castor
Alison Cassady, Deputy Staff Director, Committee on the Climate Crisis, U.S. House of Representatives
Colin Cloherty, Former member, NFL
Charlie Davies, Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team
Rep. Madeleine Dean
Eric Fins, Legislative Counsel, Office of Rep. Joe Kennedy III
Jim Gabarra, Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team and U.S. Futsal
Rep. Rick Larsen
Ben Olsen, Head Coach, D.C. United
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell
Santino Quaranta, Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team and D.C. United
Diego Ruiz, PepsiCo
Robbie Russell, Former MLS player, Current MLS consultant
Arturo Sarukhan, Former Ambassador of Mexico to the United States
Sally Brown-Shaklee, Director of Operations, Senator Dick Durbin
RJ Stanford, Former member, NFL
Rep. Paul Tonko
Sarah Towles, PepsiCo
Lin Whitehouse, Director of Member Services, Office of Rep. James E. Clyburn


Rep. Don Bacon
Rep. Dan Crenshaw
Luciano Emilio, Former member, D.C. United
Hugh Fike, Legislative Director, Office of Rep. Michael Cloud
Carin Gabarra, Former member, U.S. Women’s National Team
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez
Rep. Garret Graves
Thomas Hester, Legislative Director, Office of Rep. Michael McCaul
William Oluremi John, Former member, Chicago Fire and Sporting KC
Cobi Jones, Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team
Rep. Darin LaHood
Adam Link, USMC Congressional Fellow, Office of Rep. Mac Thornberry
Amir Lowery, Montreal Impact and Carolina RailHawks
Josh Martin, Chief of Staff, Office of Rep. Mac Thornberry
Brian McBride, Former member, U.S. Men’s National Team
Roger “Rocky” McIntosh, Former member, NFL
Corey Norman, Chief of Staff, Office of Rep. John Curtis
Katie Patru, Vice President, Van Scoyoc Associates
Steven Smith, Communications Director, Office of Rep. French Hill
Mark Williams, Chief of Staff, Office of Rep. Mike Conaway

The match was held on May 21, 2019. 

For more about the world’s favorite sport in the nation’s capital, read our article Let’s Get Rowdy, Audi here

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