White House lawn turns to playground for kids’ soccer clinic

Jul 17, 2023, 5:03 PM

First lady Jill Biden attends the Youth Soccer Clinic with Major League Soccer on the South Lawn of...

First lady Jill Biden attends the Youth Soccer Clinic with Major League Soccer on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, July 17, 2023 in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Kidz Bop rang out on the stereo as groups of sweaty children beamed with joy at the chance to kick around soccer balls with major league professionals at the White House Monday.

Children donning jerseys of their favorite Major League Soccer teams joined first lady Jill Biden and players from FC Cincinnati, DC United, Chicago Fire and other teams for a youth soccer clinic on White House South Lawn on a sweltering afternoon.

They played pickup games of soccer until the early evening. White House staff eagerly passed out water to the kids and their parents.

The White House billed the event as part of Biden’s continued effort to “highlight how sports unites us, and supports and empowers young people.”

“Sport is the international language, from the thrill of the goal to the joy of the win,” Biden said during the event, standing at a podium next to MLS Commissioner Don Garber and 16-year-old Nevaeh Burroughs, a D.C. Parks and Recreation representative.

Before introducing the first lady, Burroughs said soccer taught her the importance of “dedication, hard work and commitment.”

“When we work as one to score that point, or cheer on our team, sports unite us across backgrounds and borders. There are no strangers in the stands or on the field,” Biden said. MLS all-stars, including Christian Benteke, Lucho Acosta and Kei Kamara joined the event and kicked around balls with kids as they answered their questions.

President Joe Biden came out late in the event to chat with the pros. MLS is holding its All-Star Game Wednesday at Washington’s Audi Field.

The White House focus on soccer comes just in time for the Women’s World Cup, which begins this week in Australia and New Zealand.

The U.S. women’s national soccer team plays Friday against Vietnam in Auckland. Second gentleman Douglas Emhoff will represent the White House from the stands, Jill Biden said.

Women’s team players visited the White House in March 2021 to discuss pay discrimination on “Equal Pay Day” — after the team in 2019 sued the U.S. Soccer Federation over wage discrimination. In 2022 a historic $24 million settlement was signed, as well as a commitment to equalize pay and bonuses to match the men’s team.

National News

Associated Press

Weapons charges dropped in 2018 raid on family compound in desert that turned up child’s remains

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Two firearms charges were dismissed Thursday amid preparations for a trial against an extended family arrested in a 2018 law enforcement raid on a ramshackle desert compound in northern New Mexico and the discovery of a young boy’s decomposed body. The changes narrow the case to terrorism and kidnapping charges […]

49 minutes ago

FILE - Sabreen Sharrief, right, reaches out to hug fellow plaintiff Dorothy Triplett after testifyi...

Associated Press

Mississippi high court blocks appointment of some judges in majority-Black capital city and county

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday struck down part of a state law that would have authorized some circuit court judges to be appointed rather than elected in the capital city of Jackson and the surrounding county, which are both majority-Black. Critics said the law was an effort by the majority-white […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Wisconsin Republicans propose impeaching top elections official after disputed vote to fire her

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A group of Republican Wisconsin lawmakers on Thursday proposed impeaching the battleground state’s top elections official as Democrats wage a legal battle to keep the nonpartisan administrator in office. Democrats say the GOP-controlled state Senate acted illegitimately when it voted along party lines last week to oust Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Wildfire-prone California to consider new rules for property insurance pricing

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A new plan from California’s insurance commissioner aims to stop the nation’s top insurers from leaving the wildfire-prone state by letting them consider climate risks when setting their prices. Unlike most states, California tightly restricts how insurance companies can price policies. Companies aren’t allowed to factor in current or future risks […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Former Mississippi Democratic Party chair sues to reinstate himself, saying his ouster was improper

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The former chair of Mississippi’s Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit seeking to reinstate himself as its leader, arguing that he was improperly ousted in July. Tyree Irving, a former appellate judge who had chaired the state party since 2020, was voted out by a majority of party officials at a […]

4 hours ago

Media magnate Rupert Murdoch says he will step down as the leader of Fox News' parent company and h...

Associated Press

Who are Rupert Murdoch’s children? What to know about the media magnate’s successor and family

NEW YORK (AP) — Media magnate Rupert Murdoch on Monday announced that he would be stepping down as the leader of both Fox News’ parent company and his News Corp media holdings — with his son, Lachlan, set to take his place. Through his decades-long career, Murdoch, 92, built an empire — beginning with his […]

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

White House lawn turns to playground for kids’ soccer clinic