On Thursday, April 25, D.C. United Assistant Coaches Preston Burpo and Chad Ashton and General Manager Dave Kasper surprised a special group of recreational soccer players—the Pentagon Soccer Club. The team was playing the Joint Staff Service College, a part of the National Defense University, in honor of Commander Bill Donovan. Almost all of The Joint Staff College squad has served in the Military, while many in the Club have devoted their lives to service as well.
“Now, all of a sudden,” said Dave Nanney, a member of the Pentagon Soccer Club since 1982, “this game transcends anything about soccer.”
The Pentagon Soccer Club is a tight-knit group of experienced and inexperienced soccer players alike who come together Monday through Friday to play soccer during their lunch hour. The participants explain the games are about respect, honor and service.
Many of the members are in and out of service, completing tours in Iraq or Afghanistan, while other players are family members of those who have served, searching for support or an outlet. Whatever the reason for joining the Pentagon Soccer Club, all players come together on the pitch with a soccer ball, a pair cleats, and a common bond.