Congressional aides used to scoring points in the office can take a shot at proving themselves on the pitch in a few short weeks during the nascent staffer tournament woven into the program for the 2nd Annual Capital Classic.
The multifaceted fundraiser , co-hosted by the U.S. Soccer Foundation and Politico, is scheduled to take place from 5-10 p.m. April 8 at RFK Stadium (2400 East Capitol St. SE). The charity event benefits Soccer for Success , a futbol-intensive after-school program.
Last year, various members of the Congressional Soccer Caucus faced off in a friendly match with fleet-footed colleagues and professional soccer players. A 6-6 tie at the end of regulation play prompted a sudden-death shoot out, which turned into a narrow victory for House Democrats. Staff for Rep. Dave Reichert told HOH he will once again lace up his cleats to compete this year. A longtime enthusiast — “He used to play on a team with the King County Sheriff’s Office as well as coach both of his daughters’ teams,” a GOP aide said of the Washington Republican’s passion for the game — Reichert is looking forward to getting back into action.
Per Team Reichert, the boss was impressed by the skills Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind., displayed on the field (“put up a pretty good showing”), and is excited about giving Maryland Democrat and fellow co-chairman Chris Van Hollen a run for his money this year.
In addition to the members-on-members rematch, Krista Washington, Marketing & Communications Coordinator at the U.S. Soccer Foundation, said the organization is pumped to bring even more Hill folk into the fold. Hence, the new staffer-centric competition.
“We know that many Hill staffers play soccer recreationally and we wanted to capture the soccer culture in D.C. that lives and breathes on the Hill,” she said. “Giving staffers an opportunity to play on a historic field is exciting for us — we can’t wait to cheer on the different teams.”
In the future, staff might even get the chance to square off against lawmakers. “A format we are considering for future Classics,” Washington hinted.
Washington said the Soccer Foundation is still working on recruiting staff for that part of the tourney. The members’ team, too, still remains in flux; Reichert, Young, Van Hollen, and Reps. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., and Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., are tentatively scheduled to participate.