Celebs Shine In D.C. For Charity Soccer Game

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).

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