Our Game. Our Stories.
The essence of soccer is captured in the fact that it connects a wide variety of people in a dynamic way. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we are profiling 20 individuals who have made a significant impact on the game of soccer or who have been impacted by soccer in a positive way. Here, we will show you the diversity of the beautiful game and how it connects everyone as one universal team...Together, We Are Soccer.
This is our game and these are our stories. Be sure to visit our site every week to see who we feature next!
Representative Dave Reichert
Member of Congress Dave Reichert (R-WA) was elected to Congress in 2005 and is currently serving his fifth term in office. Reichert serves Washington’s 8th District – a region that includes the communities of Auburn, Issaquah, Kent, and Sammamish. Prior to being elected to Congress, Reichert served as sheriff of King County, Washington. Representative Reichert is a passionate soccer supporter and believes that organized sports can play a significant role in keeping youth active, engaged and healthy. He is a Co-Chair of the U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Congressional Soccer Caucus and participated in the inaugural Capital Soccer Classic in 2013.
Did you play soccer when you were younger?/What sports did you play as a kid?
I mostly played football, basketball, and baseball as a kid – but I did play soccer for the King County Sheriff’s office and coached my two daughters in soccer for about 5 years.
How did your experiences playing team sports help get you where you are today?
Team sports had a big impact. They taught me teamwork, communication skills, sharing success, and taking responsibility. It gave me confidence and a good work ethic as well as a commitment to physical fitness.
Tell us about your experience playing in the inaugural Capital Soccer Classic. What was it like to play alongside professional players like Cobi Jones and Claudio Reyna?
Playing in the inaugural [Capital]Soccer Classic is one of my most memorable experiences as a Congressman. Meeting the players was exciting in of itself, but playing with them was the ultimate honor. I especially enjoyed getting to know Staci Wilson, who played on my team and we connected very quickly and had a great bond. My 17 year old granddaughter, who was just selected to play for the Washington State Olympic Development team, and my daughter who coaches the Kentlake High School varsity team were extremely jealous!
Washington is a hot bed for youth soccer – why do you think the game is so popular among youth?
I think it’s popular for a number of reasons. Everyone is welcomed, both young and old, from the not so skilled to the very skilled and it’s fun in addition to helping develop so many of those skills I mentioned earlier that are useful for future success.
How have you seen the game positively impact the communities that you serve?
Again, many of the skillsets you develop are a big part of this, but I believe it helps kids make good decisions about eating healthy and exercising, working hard and striving to continually improve. Those are all great qualities they can use as an adult. When I coached, we participated in the Canadian Soccer Exchange Program which gave us all the opportunity to get to know our neighbors to the north much better. The international feeling of the game really helps bring not only immediate communities together, but national and global communities as well.