The Beautiful Game series explores how soccer makes a difference around the globe.
Update: Target RAISED. Groundbreaking on the field begins shortly.
There’s Another MVP In Dallas You Should Know (from November 2010)
Support for this piece from Communications Chair of the Freddy Fund, Mike Anderson
Imagine having a good friend.
Imagine enjoying playing a sport–this time it just happens to be soccer–with your good friend. In fact, it’s the fabric of your friendship.
Imagine being almost good enough to make that sport a living, but more than passionate enough to play for a reserve club, like the FC Dallas reserves, and to keep soccer as central to your life without it being a paycheck.
Now imagine that good friend–the one in the group who brought the energy, manufactured the sunshine–was taken from you.
They passed away….
Without warning, no time to prepare…..
For unknown reasons….
And right before they were to graduate from college…
For some, understandably, something as playful as a sport may become a burden.
“Oh man, I remember when I used to pass it to him….right…there.”
“I kind of don’t like having an extra space in the car on the ride to the field.”
You might recoil into yourself or need an extra push just to get back to even, to attain balance.
Or in the case of the friends of the late Federico “Freddy” Garcia–whose father once donned the Stars and Stripes–you do the exact opposite.
You use the cruel event that left a hole in your life and you rally. Big time.
You galvanize support.
You reach into the depths of the energy that Freddy once showered on you and you return that energy…to the community in homage to your fallen teammate….
In the form of a soccer field, erecting a place to play the sport that was more about friendship and much less about competition.
A field, layered with turf and lines, for the neighborhood where Freddy grew up; a neighborhood where the median household annual income is $17,000.
The Freddy Fund is on the pilgrimage to building that field. This week it takes them to Toronto where Freddy’s friends, Matt and Mike Morales, will be honored by MLS W.O.R.K.S. for the Dallas market community MVP award at halftime of the Championship game.
A fitting tribute in a season where FC Dallas, the reserve team Garcia once donned the hoops for, has persevered as well with an MVP of their own, christened today.
It’s Thanksgiving time in the States. Take a moment to recognize the effort of the Freddy Fund if you would.
There are three ways you can help this great group of friends:
(1) Donate, just a little, $5 even to their cause. Seeing people donate creates further motivation. The amount doesn’t matter. It’s the statement it makes. When I finish this piece, I will be donating–just a little–to the cause.
(2) Put this story (or their Facebook page here) in your newsfeed on Facebook or Twitter.
Maybe someone sees it who wants to donate or maybe a potential corporate sponsor sees it.
(3) Just simply go to their Facebook page and click “Like” (please, please) on the top of the page if you can’t donate. Let them know that you support what they’re doing. More motivation to get that field.
Communications Chair of the Freddy Fund, Mike Anderson, wrote the following to me in an email today as I shared with him the story of a friend who I used to play with who passed away as well.
I’m sure we all have a friend like this:
When Freddy died too, it really affected a lot of people.
We are all still pretty good players, many former-MLS and all former college players, but the dream is over and we just want to enjoy our team and play good soccer with each other.
Freddy had this way of always making people around him feel good about themselves, and we repeat a lot of his phrases.
For example, he always preached to go out and “be famous” when we played, and he was always telling everybody to “keep it sexy”, as in to play sexy, attractive, team soccer.
It’s hard to convey just how positive he was and how much people like being around him. There is an under-ground soccer community here and even if we don’t play on the same team, we all know each other and play street, indoor and pickup together. Freddy’s death was a huge hit to the soccer family in Dallas.