MANILA, Philippines—Amid the shrieks of football fans, a quiet time with the kids became the best moment for the entire Los Angeles Galaxy.
The members of the Major League Soccer (MLS) champions squeezed into their tight schedule a special trip to various local orphanages and foundations Saturday morning before the anticipated clash versus the Philippines national team.
The entire coaching staff headed by head mentor Bruce Arena, along with 12 players of the team, dropped by the SOS Children’s Village in Alabang, Muntinlupa—a beneficiary of the Herbalife, Galaxy’s major sponsor.
Aside from spending time with the orphaned kids, the football stars doled out a total of $1,500 from their own pockets, adding to the $3,000 also donated by the Galaxy and Herbalife.
“Amazing experience at the Orphanage today. Crazy how the kids actually put smiles on our faces. I’ll never forget this,” said AJ DeLa Garza, one of the Galaxy’s versatile defenders, on his Twitter account (@ajd_20).
“To see the smiles on those kids faces was amazing,” said Dasan Robinson.
Rookie Ryan Thomas (@rpthomas7), a Stanford standout, even went to say that the experience with the kids was “hands down the highlight of this trip.”
And in a different place at the same moment, American football icon Landon Donovan also felt the same rush.
The Galaxy’s skipper took part in helping select hearing-impaired kids try out their new hearing aids as part of the Global Hearing Mission of the Starkey Hearing Foundation.
“Got to help fit young Philippine children for hearing aids today [Saturday]. Seeing them hear for the first time was something I’ll never forget. New life,” shared Donovan (@landondonovan).
Donovan, the United States all-time leading goal scorer, personally outfitted some of the kids with hearing aids during the life-changing event at the University of Santo Tomas campus in Manila.
The Galaxy, more than just providing a treat to football enthusiasts in each of their visits, have always been pro-active in promoting football among the young and leaving something they would remember.
English football superstar David Beckham Thursday led a football clinic with 200 local kids, including aspirants from Payatas, and other beneficiaries like Bantay Bata, Unicef and Futkaleros.