first_imgPreviously, the Los Angeles soccer team participated in soccer dinners in Santa Clarita and held special soccer games for local families. Among the crowd at Sunday’s game, more than 100 families had more than a game to cheer about, as they had received services from the foundation. For Sandi Franco, soccer and other sports are ways for 8-year-old Mateo, stricken with T-cell cancer, to feel like a kid again. “This is a chance to have a little bit of fun after a not-so-fun time,” Sandi Franco said as she rubbed the head of her son. “This has been a tough year and a half.” SANTA CLARITA – About 6,000 sports fans crowded into College of the Canyons Cougar Stadium on Sunday to welcome Major League Soccer – a battle between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Columbus Crew – to a town that virtually invented the soccer mom. “This is beyond exciting,” said Nancy Park, surrounded by at least two dozen young soccer players. The game was expected to raise about $50,000 for the nonprofit Michael Hoefflin Foundation, which will use the money for cancer research and outreach services. “The Galaxy has been supportive of the Hoefflin Foundation for the last 12 years,” said Jill Mellady, communications director for the foundation. For Mateo’s father, Joe Franco, it’s just nice to see his son doing normal kid things again. “Whatever will help give him back a little bit of what he’s missed out on in the last few months, we’ll do,” Joe Franco said. Self-proclaimed soccer mom Elena Cantu rushed to her seats holding the hand of 5-year-old Andres and carrying 2-year-old Aaron. She said soccer is not a pastime but an essential activity in her family. “Yeah, I basically had them play soccer as soon as they could walk,” Cantu said. Kevin Malone, co-owner of Mercedes-Benz of Valencia and a board member for the Hoefflin Foundation, watched the crowds reach out for a free autographed soccer ball. Malone said he isn’t a soccer dad because his children played baseball, but he considers a professional soccer game in Santa Clarita a great motivation for the young athletes in the valley. “These kids are getting a chance to see the best soccer players in the world in Santa Clarita,” Malone said. For results of the game, see Sports. [email protected] (661) 257-5254last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *