In June, management and players from the Sounders U23 and Sounders Women spent time at the Muckleshoot Tribal School for their end-of-year celebration for grade graduates. The Sounders coached a clinic, played with kids and signed autographs. The event culminated with the presentation of an autographed jersey for the Muckleshoot Tribe and a decorative blanket, of unparalleled cultural honor, given to the Sounders from the Muckleshoot community.
The appearance was aimed to bring soccer closer to the Muckleshoot community and to introduce diversity through a sport that is in the infancy stage within native culture. Through a coaching session and diverse activities with the ball, the players and Sounders Women goalkeeper coach, Kelly Bendixen, taught the basics of the game.
Following the clinic, Muckleshoot kids had a blast playing a full-size game against the Sounders U-23 and Sounders Women players, and their parents were glad to watch them running all around.
Sounders U-23 defender Clement Simonin said, “Introducing to the game to excited children was refreshing and gets us to remember how lucky we are to play this game and give back to the community. It feels amazing being here and having all these kids so excited to play the game with us. It reminds me of my childhood.”
The players then moved to the center of the celebration — which included laser tag, inflatable fun, dunk tanks and food — to pose for pictures and sign posters and flyers for fans. Each kid attending the event was given a free soccer ball to take home. Kids were delighted to have their balls signed by the players who joined them, and may represent the future professionals. Sounders U-23 and Sounders Women also gave away tickets for the next home games.
To close the event, Joseph Martin, Assistant Tribal Operations Manager of Education, presented the Sounders with an incredible handcrafted blanket. The item represents the most prestigious gift in the Muckleshoot culture.
The Sounders Women have three regular-season games remaining this month, all on the road. The top-two teams in the Western Conference standings at the end of the W-League regular season will compete for the Western Conference Championship, with the winner advancing to the W-League Final Four. Keep up with all the action at sounderswomen.com!