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New England Revolution players connect with local youths at Kroc Center

Posted by Patrick Rosso  March 22, 2012 12:34 PM

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(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2012)

In Video: Youths from the Kroc take part in a skills building exercise.

Students from the Salvation Army’s Kroc Center and local community centers got a treat Wednesday, with a soccer skills clinic taught by stars from Boston’s own professional soccer team, the New England Revolution.

Over 200 students from the Kroc’s free community after-school program, Kids FEAST, and Boston Centers for Youth and Families, dribbled and scored Wednesday on the Kroc’s artificial turf field, running circles around Revolution players.

“It’s a wonderful day because the kids have waited so long for this,” said Major Robert Kountz, administrator for the Kroc. “It’s more than just something for them to do after school. They have dreams and aspire to be great and when they are able to see these professionals and hear about the hard work they had to do both on and off the field it’s encouraging.”

Even the players seemed to be enjoying themselves. Along with staff from the New England Revolution Academy, Revolution players, Darrius Barnes, Stephen McCarthy, Diego Fagundez, and Tim Murray were having a blast teaching the kids ages 6 – 12 their favorite moves.

“We were all little when we started and we hope we can inspire them to keep chasing their dreams,” said Diego Fagundez, the Revolution’s 17-year-old star forward. “It’s a perfect idea to come out and just play with the kids. I had a lot of fun. The biggest thing I learned growing up was don’t let anyone tell you no. If you work hard whether it be at school or on the soccer field you will succeed.”

Staff from the Boston Centers for Youth and Families, were also excited to have the kids out enjoying the sun.

“The kids experiencing different sports is great,” said Hector Galarza, a staff member at the Tobin Community Center in Mission Hill. “The interaction between the kids is good, it helps introduce them to other kids from different neighborhoods, which they don’t always experience.”

Although competition was tough while the kids scrimmaged on the field in Uphams Corners, at the end of the day many of the kids were just happy to get outside, play a little soccer, and meet some stars.

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Email Patrick D. Rosso, patrick.d.rosso@gmail.com. Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

(Patrick D. Rosso/Boston.com/2012)

Tiana, 7, getting a few tips from Revolution Academy coach Kyle Bak.

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