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Caps crash party in D.C. United locker room

Four members of the Washington Capitals were in attendance as D.C. blanked Colorado

It took Washington Capitals’ center Brooks Laich 28 years to see his first professional soccer match.  But after witnessing D.C. United’s impressive 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids live at RFK on Wednesday, Laich is already making plans for a quick return to the home of the Black-and-Red.

“It’s great being a fan,” Laich said with a smile while donning a customized United jersey with his name and number (21) emblazoned on the back. “I’m around for another two weeks so I might be back within the week.”

It took Washington Capitals’ center Brooks Laich 28 years tosee his first professional soccer match. But after witnessing D.C. United’s impressive 2-0 win over the ColoradoRapids live at RFK on Wednesday, Laich is already making plans for a quickreturn to the home of the Black-and-Red.

“It’s great being a fan,” Laich said with a smile whiledonning a customized United jersey with his name and number (21) emblazoned onthe back. “I’m around for another two weeks so I might be back within the week.”

Joining their assistant captain on the evening wereteammates Mathieu Perreault, Joel Ward and John Carlson.  The outing itself was Ward’sbrainchild, who hails from the same Toronto suburb of Scarborough as Unitedcaptain Dwayne De Rosario.  Thepair met through Ward’s barber and quickly realized they had much in common.  Beyond making a living as professionalathletes, both men are the proud offspring of Caribbean immigrants to Canada.

“What are the chances?” asked Ward, whose family emigrated from Barbados while De Rosario traces his roots to Guyana.  “We were both in Toronto originally,but now we are here in D.C. playing two different sports.  It’s just cool.  We try to support each other and eachother’s franchises.”  

The Capitals watched United win from Club president KevinPayne’s box before joining the celebration in D.C.’s triumphant locker room.  De Rosario and head coach Ben Olsenheld court with the visitors as both hockey and soccer players alike rushed tosnap pictures with one another. For Olsen, the event was a welcome display of solidarity amongWashington’s pro sports teams.

“We as a city need to combine sports more,” noted United’ssecond-year coach.  “We need tointeract with the Redskins, Caps, Wizards and Nats.  I’m looking forward to doing a lot more like this.”

The surprise visit was especially enjoyed by those Unitedplayers who caught the ‘hockey bug’ during Washington’s recent Stanley Cupplayoff run.  In addition to DeRosario, Perry Kitchen, Danny Cruz, Chris Pontius and Nick DeLeon all becameregulars at the Verizon Center as the Caps charged through the playoffs.  After hearing which Capitals hadattended the match, Kitchen couldn’t hide his excitement. “That’s sick,” exclaimed D.C.’s 20-year-old midfielder. “Thoseguys are like, my idols.”

RELATED: Photos from Wednesday night