Make-a-Wish midfielder Xander Bailey enjoys his day as a Sounder

It wasn’t the first time the Make-A-Wish Foundation and a professional sports team made a kid’s dream come true, nor will it be the last, but just because it’s been done before, that doesn’t make it any less awesome to see the smile on young man’s face after a run in with his heroes.

On Friday, Xander Bailey didn’t just meet the Seattle Sounders and Clint Dempsey, his favorite player, he shared a field with them a day after signing with his favorite team. At one point in a scrimmage portion of practice, Bailey helped in the buildup to an Obafemi Martins goal.

“It was good,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “We had him on the orange team, so he had the benefit of being able to play with Oba and Clint. He was the first pass in the sequence that led to Oba’s goal in that game.

Dempsey also came away impressed, saying, “He’s a good player. He’s skillful. He came in and did well. It was fun for him to come out and for us to interact with him. We’re looking forward to… I think tomorrow he’s going to be at the game as well. Any time you can be a part of something like Make-A-Wish, it’s pretty special.”

Bailey, an 18-year-old from Bluefield, West Virginia, has been playing soccer since he was a young child, but couldn’t imagine he’d ever share a field with some of the game’s biggest stars.

“I’m really blessed to be here and have an opportunity to play with players like this, especially Dempsey, (DeAndre) Yedlin, players who are on the national team,” he said. “It’s been good.

“It’s pretty crazy. Definitely you can tell the level of play is way up there. I definitely had a really good time out there playing with them… It was just a good time doing what I love to do. Playing with these guys, especially knowing how big they are in the soccer world, it was a great time.

Asked what his friends back home thought of his contract with the Sounders, Bailey said, “They were really excited, a lot of ‘em were really jealous I think. It’s been a wild experience.”

More in Sports

Sounders clinch playoff spot with 4-0 win over FC Dallas

Seattle gets two second-half goals from Will Bruin as it earns the right to defend its MLS Cup

Cascade senior finds ‘freedom’ with help of football

After escaping oppression in Iraq, Bruins kicker Sarmad Aqrawi forges a new life in the U.S.

Turner, Dodgers walk off with a victory in Game 2 of NLCS

Justin Turner hits a three-run homer with two out in the bottom of the ninth to give L.A. a 4-1 win

Moos leaving WSU to become the athletic director at Nebraska

Moos has been the athletic director at Washington State since 2010

Another desert nightmare: No. 5 UW shocked by Arizona St.

The Huskies’ offense struggles mightily in a 13-7 loss to the Sun Devils on the road.

Patterson: M’s lack of homegrown talent is a big concern

Statistics show Seattle is lacking behind playoff teams in player development.

POLL: Which loss was worse, UW Huskies or WSU Cougars?

Both Washington and Washington State suffered inexplicable upset football defeats over the weekend.

Seahawks running game still stuck in neutral

None of Thomas Rawls, Eddie Lacy or C.J. Prosise have stepped up in the absence of Chris Carson

Silvertips end road trip with a 5-3 loss to Kootenay

Everett Silvertips fell short of a comeback as they concluded their nine-game road trip with a loss.

Most Read