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Celebs Shine In D.C. For Charity Soccer Game

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    NEWSLETTERS

    What do you get when you mix Kobe Bryant, D’Angelo Hall, John Carlson, and Mia Hamm? The greatest soccer game ever played.

    Well, the greatest celebrity soccer game, that is.

    It was the fourth year for the Celebrity Soccer Challenge to benefit the Mia Hamm Foundation, and fans who ventured down to Kastles Stadium on the D.C. waterfront got to see pro athletes mix it up with local media personalities.

    The teams were headed up by event founders Hamm and former MLB All-Star Nomar Garciaparra, and the rosters read like the guest list for the best dinner party ever:

    Team FC Mia
    Kobe Bryant – LA Lakers
    Ivan Carter – Washington Post Live
    John Carlson – Washington Capitals
    Manel Estiarte – Retired Water Polo player
    Pam Brown – WJLA
    Alex Morgan – USWNT
    Yael Averbuch – USWNT
    Tobin Heath - USWNT
    Pep Guardiola – FC Barcelona manager
    John Harkes – former soccer player
    Ethan Zohn – Survivor
    Patrick Snell – CNN
    D’Angelo Hall – Redskins
    Dan Hellie – NBC Washington

    Team Nomar United
    Jeff Green – Boston Celtics
    Eddie Pope – DC United
    Dave Johnson – WTOP
    Ali Kreiger – USWNT
    Heather O’Reilly – USWNT
    Andoni Zubizarreta – FC Barcelona
    Mike Wise – Washington Post
    Tony Reali – ESPN
    Donal Logue – Actor
    Tisha Hoch – retired WNT
    Indi Cowie – Soccer juggling phenom
    Charles Mann – former Redskin
    Heath Shuler – former Redskin and current politician
    Britt McHenry – WJLA

    With all of that star power on one field, deciding on an MVP was no easy task.

    “I know who wasn’t the MVP,” said an unusually modest Kobe. “That was me.”

    That's quite an understatement for Kobe, who scored on his own team, gave up a goal while in net, and took a piece of the pitch with him after taking a spill.

    He went on admit that while it wasn’t his normal type of playing field, it was a fun distraction from the NBA chaos.

    “I got a chance to play soccer for the first time in 20 years,” he told us. “It’s hot, but it’s been a lot of fun.

    Former Redskin Charles Mann agreed that the girls from the US Women’s National Team stole the show.

    “I’m such a fan of women’s soccer,” he gushed. “And to get to play with those young ladies who were out there today was an honor. And the guys weren’t bad either!”
     
    John Carlson agreed. “All the girls were carrying our team for a while!”

    While the purpose of the game was to have fun, the celebs couldn’t help but get a little competitive. Former Georgetown star Jeff Green of the Boston Celtics admitted that the presence of a fellow baller gave him a reason to talk a little smack.

    “It was fun to go against [Bryant] again, just in a different sport,” he said. “I think he played when he was younger, so he might have an edge right now. But just give me a week and I’ll be caught up.”

    For a gallery of photos from the event, head here.

    Questions, comments or tips? Email Sarah at sarahskogod@gmail.com. You can also follow her on Twitter (@sarahschorno).