In a match that was moved up because of weather concerns, the D.C. United Special Olympics DC (SODC) and New York Red Bulls Special Olympics New Jersey (SONJ) Unified Soccer teams faced off in an intense match Sunday afternoon at RFK’s training field in Washington, D.C., where the visitors earned a victory decided by penalty kicks.
The visitors got on the board first when SONJ’s Peter Poole was able to break free from the defense and score the team’s first goal in a back and forth first half in which both goalies make tremendous saves.
The second half didn’t start much better for SODC. Early in the second half, Poole fired a ball into the back of the net for his second goal putting SONJ up 2-0. In response, SODC forwards Herbert Aguilar and Kevin Guzman scored back-to-back goals in under two minutes that helped even the score at the end of regulation.
Unfortunately, SODC’s comeback was not enough as SONJ took the win after a dramatic 4-2 penalty kick shoot out defeat. The match marked the close of the 2016 Unified Soccer season for Special Olympics DC.
The Special Olympics Unified Sports soccer exchange program is an on-going partnership between MLS WORKS, D.C. United and Special Olympics D.C. that brings individuals with and without intellectual disabilities together as teammates to participate in unique training, competition and social experiences.