This Thanksgiving, we are most thankful for the fans who continue to stick by us through the good and the bad. Through 18 seasons, 13 trophies, winning records and losing records, the Black-and-Red faithful are our rock. #ThanksToSoccer, we have the best fans in MLS!
Tell us how soccer has made a positive impact in your life by Tweeting with #ThanksToSoccer, or using the comments section below.
A fresh baked turkey that tantalizes your palette. Thick slices of cranberry sauce straight from the can. And yams so sweet that part of you feels guilty for gobbling them up. All of these delights are just a few of my favorite things about Thanksgivings. And this holiday season, I had the privilege of serving these joys to the thousands who gathered at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for the Safeway Feast of Sharing.
Held annually since 1999, this event seeks to provide Thanksgiving dinners to a needy community comprised of nearly 5,000 elderly, homeless, and underprivileged individuals. The cause is generously supported by organizations such as The Safeway Corporation, The Salvation Army and other community partners. In addition to the banquet, health services and a clothing distribution were provided to all who were in need.
Upon arriving at the convention center on this frigid fifth day of giving, my coworkers and I were welcomed by the bustling ambiance of volunteers. It was heartwarming to see people from all across the community. It was especially encouraging to see the Woodrow Wilson and H.D. Woodson Senior High School football teams working sided by side. For on Thanksgiving, these two teams will clash in the district’s infamous Turkey Bowl. Other notable guests included Mayor Gray, DC Councilmembers Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) and Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and the cheerleaders from the Washington Redskins. But perhaps the best surprise of all was seeing the vivacious kids of Ketcham Elementary, a proud participant of United Soccer Club and United Reads program.
While serving at the event, volunteers were assigned specific shifts that ranged from greeting guests, seating the elderly, preparing meals, delivering orders and cleaning off the tables. But no matter the role and responsibility, everyone had the pleasure of fellowship. Smiles were shared throughout the room as spirited personalities swooned at the table and volunteers worked hand-in-hand.
In the end, the Feast of Sharing yielded more than just a bountiful meal; it imparted an uplifting sense of hope, faith and hospitality. For if we put aside our differences and come together under one roof, there’s a great feast that is waiting to be shared.
Everything happens faster online, including your holiday shopping! This year, don't let Black Friday lines get you down, the D.C. United Team Store has you covered with epic deals on Cyber Monday on December 2, 2013. Please note that the Team Store at RFK will not be open on Friday, November 29. Follow on Twitter.
It is easy to forget how much we have to be thankful for. We all can get in the habit of taking things for granted, like the food on our tables or our good health. Thanksgiving is a great reminder for us all to take a step back and appreciate what we have and to help those around us in our community who may not be as lucky. Our neighbors down the road at Food & Friends were able to provide some of the D.C. United staff with insight on how one small act can change a person’s day.
Food & Friends is a home-delivered meal service, which was founded in 1988. It was originally a service for people with HIV/AIDS and has since transitioned to also serve those living with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. These people are provided with ready-to-eat meals and television-style dinners.
The volunteer coordinator shared that we would be running delivery routes today and briefed our group on the rules and what to expect or do if certain issues came up. Six of the front office staff excitedly braved the cold and rainy temperatures, and broke off into two D.C. United vans to begin planning our routes.
My van delivered in Southeast and serviced different types of facilities. First on our list was an assisted living type of facility. Our van was immediately recognized by some of the elderly residents in the lobby. One excitedly asked if he could come and play for the team while the other joked that we better not bring him along if we wanted to be good!
Our next stops were at different apartment complexes and houses where we received the same warm reception from all the recipients, especially one lady who was very concerned that we were out in this weather and sweetly advised us to get “out of the cold and rainy mess!” Everyone kept us entertained and on our toes from all the jokesters and kindhearted people, to the Terminix guy answering the door for the sweet elderly man walking down to greet us in his terrycloth bathrobe (can’t blame a guy for being comfy!).
All of us were happy to partner with the wonderful organization of Food & Friends for our 4th Day of Giving. Being able to see each person who is affected with these life threatening illness receive their meals was a fulfilling experience. It is a nice reminder that we should strive to always help those in need and be thankful, not just around Thanksgiving, but everyday. Food & Friends is indeed “delivering hope, one meal at a time.”
D.C. United Homegrown goalkeeper Bill Hamid is training with West Brom through next week, returning in time to join his teammates in Indonesia. The talented, young goalkeeper was recently with the U.S. Men's National Team in Scotland and Austria for two friendly matches. Though Hamid did not feature, he always finds training at the national team level invaluable and a great chance to grow. Continuing his trianing with an Enlgish Premier League club, Hamid is focused on developing as an elite 'keeper.
Today, Hamid tweeted while in the West Midlands, showing he was enjoying his time there.
A great day of training finished... Now relaxing at the hotel and a walk about in the city
— Bill Hamid (@BillHamid28) November 22, 2013
On November 21, 1999, D.C. United added its third MLS Cup to the trophy case. For the second time in league history, the Black-and-Red faced the LA Galaxy at Foxboro Stadium for the premier title. United ultimately defeated the Galaxy 2-0 with a goal a piece for Ben Olsen and Jaime Moreno.
Were you at MLS Cup 1999? If so, tell us about your experience in the comments section below!
DCU Starting XI. From top left: Marco Etcheverry, Eddie Pope, Carlos Llamosa, Jeff Agoos, Carey Talley, Tom Presthus, Jaime Moreno, Roy Lassiter, John Maessner, Richie Williams, Ben Olsen
Man of the Match Ben Olsen celebrates after scoring in the 45 minute
Team President Kevin Payne, League Commissioner Don Garber and D.C. United hoist the Alan I. Rothenberg Trophy
And then there were three.
Elementary school was a simpler time in life. For me, the most challenging part of elementary school was learning my spelling words. For some of the children at Amidon-Bowen Elementary school, the challenges they face are much more real.
Hunger is a serious problem in the District of Columbia, and organizations like Martha’s Table are out to change that. Martha’s Table is dedicated to helping those in need receive food and education to help alleviate hunger, especially child hunger.
When we arrived at Amidon-Bowen the staff from Martha’s Table already had volunteers hard at work opening boxes of yogurt, oatmeal, soup, pasta, cranberry sauce, and bagging fresh fruit, vegetables and frozen turkeys. We jumped right in and started organizing the food into stations based on food groups, which would later play into the education part of the distribution. We tried to make the food appear as it would at a grocery store, organized by product and variety, and in straight rows, so the recipients would feel that they had choices, and weren’t just receiving a hand out.
As the families began to file in we didn’t simply hand over bags of food. We engaged with the families by discussing their different options, asked the children questions about what food groups they already had in their bags, what their favorite meal was and joked about how nobody really likes cranberry sauce (or at least I don’t). You could see on their faces that they were grateful not only for the food, but for treating them as people.
The holidays are a time to appreciate what you have, but for those in need this time of year , they can be a reminder of what you don’t have. During the short two hours that we helped distribute food that will help families provide a full Thanksgiving meal, it was clear that we were making a difference in these people’s lives. Everyone may need help once in a while, and knowing that we were able to help dozens of families in Southwest Washington was a great way to spend our 3rd Day of Giving.
150 years ago today, President Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most famous speeches in American history. The Gettysburg Address was a dedication at the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, PA, delivered just four and a half months after the Union Army defeated the Confederate Army in the Battle of Gettysburg.
In remembrance of this important day in US history, and the values that Americans hold so dear, Bill Hamid and the U.S. Men's National Team recited the speech today.
This afternoon (3:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2) The US Men's National Team faces off against Scotland in an international friendly. One face on the USMNT squad stands out for DCU fans, as Homegrown keeper Bill Hamid was recently called into National Team camp and will be joining his countrymen in Glasgow.
In 1996 and 1997, D.C. United's crest was pretty different. The mark, which featured the same key pieces as today's badge, was updated following the 1997 season. Do you remember the logos of the original ten MLS teams? Do you know which teams have not changed since their inception?
The D.C. United Team Store is now on Twitter! Give them a follow @DCUteamstore