Within every club, there are friendships that transcend the pitch, the locker-room, and—more uniquely—language barriers.  

The friendship that has formed between D.C. United forward Taxi Fountas and defender Brad Smith is one of those friendships. 

Fountas and Smith, who both joined the club in 2022, sat side-by-side in the D.C. United locker-room before Smith suffered a season-ending knee injury in July. The two didn’t share a common language in those first few weeks, but they shared two common bonds—soccer, of course, but also Clash of Clans, a popular mobile video game. 

Following Smith’s injury, Fountas dedicated his 10th MLS goal to him by lifting up his No. 5 jersey for all of Audi Field to see. It was a touching moment, but not the last time Fountas would pay homage to his best friend on the team.

With 12 combined goals and assists in his first 10 MLS games, Taxi was named to the 2022 MLS All-Star roster that faced the Liga MX All-Stars earlier this month. When the time came to select his jersey number, there was little doubt in his mind. 

“I sent him a message showing the number to show him I stand with him and that I love him,” Fountas said following the All-Star Game in Minneapolis, MN. “I wanted it to give him strength.”

Fountas, like all of us, hopes to see Smith return to play soon.

“He’s an unbelievable person and I wish all the best for him. We all miss him on the field,” Fountas said.

One thing is for sure—Smith will have his best friend and Clash of Clans partner cheering him on at every step of his rehabilitation process.