On Thursday afternoon, over 25 participants ages 16-20 came together to test their soccer skills on RFK’s Auxiliary field during soccer team tryouts for the 2017 D.C. United Special Olympics DC (SODC) Unified Soccer Team.
Defender and captain Steven Birnbaum joined the group of participants and offered some motivation, some laughs and plenty of high fives.
The tryouts, which were run by Special Olympics DC coaches and volunteers, were open to all athletes with and without intellectual disabilities and were used as an opportunity to judge athletes on their ability to work together and their commitment to the Play Unified experience.
The D.C. United SODC team will play two matches against other Special Olympics Unified Soccer teams. This year, matchups will take place on July 22 at RFK stadium (opponent TBD) and on August 19 at Dick’s Sporting Good Park in Denver, CO, against Special Olympics Colorado.