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OC Soccer Club Celebrates National Soccer Day by Teaching Children New Moves

OC Soccer Club Celebrates National Soccer Day by Teaching Children New Moves

Players of the Orange County Soccer Club teach children soccer maneuvers at the Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine, Calif., on July 28, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

John Fredricks

John Fredricks

7/29/2023

Updated: 7/30/2023

IRVINE, Calif.—Surrounded by exhibits of “how the world works,” kids at the Pretend City Children’s Museum waited July 28 arrival of the not-so-pretend guests of Orange County Soccer Club.
“We will have players at the event who will be performing and teaching tricks and soccer moves,” club spokesperson Chad Romiti told The Epoch Times. “They will also answer questions and talk to the children about their experiences.”
Both organizations’ combination of forces mixes learning about the sport of soccer while celebrating National Soccer Day, a worldwide annual holiday of the sport since 1994.
Players of the Orange County Soccer Club teach children soccer maneuvers at the Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine, Calif., on July 28, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Players of the Orange County Soccer Club teach children soccer maneuvers at the Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine, Calif., on July 28, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

“Soccer is the fastest growing sport in the U.S. right now,” Mr. Romiti said. “[It’s]fun, easy to access, and an inclusive sport that is healthy for girls and boys and participation in soccer at a young age teaches valuable skills and life lessons.”
The Orange County Soccer Club is part of the United Soccer League’s Division 2, which has dozens of teams across the United States and Canada.
As the only professional soccer team currently in Orange County, its players pride themselves on being active in the community by attending local events and schools daily, according to team officials.
As the event Friday began to unfold, three players from the club caught the children’s attention by performing tricks with soccer balls in the middle of the museum floor.
“Here you go!” Forward Korede Osundina said after wrapping the ball around his foot in midair before passing to fellow Forward Bryce Jamison.
Several children began to see the inspiration of the players after Osundinapassed the ball to Defender Alex Villanueva, who then balanced it on the back of his neck before passing it off to the excited group of kids.
Players of the Orange County Soccer Club teach children soccer maneuvers at the Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine, Calif., on July 28, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Players of the Orange County Soccer Club teach children soccer maneuvers at the Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine, Calif., on July 28, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

For museum staff, having a visit by the team was not only a great way for kids to experience and be inspired by professional soccer players, but also an opportunity for them to be taught simple tricks that involve balance, motor movements, and even the art of “turn-taking.”
“Interacting with professional soccer players serves as an excellent source of inspiration,” the museum’s Marketing Specialist Yessie Rosas told The Epoch Times. “Meeting role models who have achieved success through hard work and dedication can motivate children to pursue their passions and set goals for themselves.”
As the one-hour event ended, players and team staff handed the children stickers and keychains before the three players danced their way out of the museum, accompanied by dance music and followed by dozens of kids and their parents.
A player of the Orange County Soccer Club bumps fists with a boy at the Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine, Calif., on July 28, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

A player of the Orange County Soccer Club bumps fists with a boy at the Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine, Calif., on July 28, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

“At the heart of our mission as a children’s museum is providing families with unforgettable experiences that foster learning, creativity, and teamwork,” Mr. Rosas said. “Teaming up with the Orange County Soccer Club, the only professional soccer team in Orange County, couldn’t have been a more perfect match.”
The Pretend City Children’s Museum opened Tuesdays to Sundays with an entrance fee of $19.95.
The Orange County Soccer Club faces its next match versus New Mexico United July 29 at 7 p.m. at Championship Soccer Stadium located in Irvine’s Great Park.
(Courtesy of Orange County Soccer Club)

(Courtesy of Orange County Soccer Club)

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John Fredricks

John Fredricks

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John Fredricks is a California-based journalist for The Epoch Times. His reportage and photojournalism features have been published in a variety of award-winning publications around the world.

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