BALTIMORE, MD – Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young will bring together six players from Major League Soccer's D.C. United, along with 200 Baltimore city children ages 6 to 13 for a soccer clinic and autograph session in Patterson Park on Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 4:30 p.m. One of the players, Santino Quaranta, is a Baltimore native who grew up in Highlandtown, just blocks from where the free clinic will be held.
The children will participate in scrimmages and drills as part of the D.C. United Community Soccer Series. Professional players as well as stars from the men's and women's soccer teams at Loyola University Maryland and Notre Dame of Maryland University will lead the children in activities that will refine their soccer skills and allow them to interact in a positive environment. The soccer clinic is the latest event in Council President Young’s P.L.A.Y. (Productive Lives, Active Youth) campaign, which aims to keep children involved in constructive programs and allow them to grow mentally, socially and emotionally.
“I am very excited to partner with members from D.C. United and our local universities to provide Baltimore’s youth with an opportunity to strengthen their teamwork, patience and perseverance – three qualities that will serve them well into adulthood,” Council President Young said.
D.C. United stars scheduled to participate include Brandon Barklage, Joseph Ngwenya, Perry Kitchen, Clyde Simms, Brandon McDonald and Quaranta. The players will wear the team’s red jerseys, sales of which benefit Red Card Cancer, a program supporting the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
For Quaranta, who grew up playing soccer in Baltimore, and attended Archbishop Curley High School, the clinic is a chance to come home and give back to the community that raised him.
"I am excited to bring the Community Soccer Series to Patterson Park in Baltimore because this is the same place I learned the basic soccer skills that made me the player I am today," Quaranta said. "I look forward to showing the kids in attendance that they can achieve their goals, whatever they may be, coming from the same community as I did."
Quaranta was the youngest player ever to be drafted into MLS when he joined the league as a 16-year-old in 2001. He has also played on both the Under-17 and Under-20 United States national soccer teams.
“I am honored that City Council President Young and D.C. United have invited Notre Dame of Maryland University to participate in such a wonderful event," said Notre Dame assistant coach Greg Moore. "The D.C. United Community Soccer Series and Council President Young’s P.L.A.Y. campaign are important tools that will give youth a chance to learn a great game and meet some of their favorite professional players. Our players are very excited to give back to the community."
WHAT: D.C. United Community Soccer Series. Six professional soccer players from D.C. United will join City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young and local college soccer players from Notre Dame University of Maryland and Loyola University for drills and an autograph session.
WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 6 from 4:30 p.m. until 6:15 p.m. The clinic will begin at 4:30 p.m., and media can speak with Council President Young and soccer players from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
WHERE: Patterson Park Extension (east of Linwood Avenue)