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

Friday’s prep football results

Arlington loses Wesco 3A North showdown to Ferndale; Monroe remains unbeaten.

2A No. 1 Archbishop Murphy falls to 3A No. 9 Bellevue 35-21

The Wildcats’ 17-game win streak comes to an end in a battle of football powerhouses.

Running backs lead Mariner over Kamiak

Marauders Josiah Pesterkoff and Isaiah Harrison combine for 177 yards on the ground.

Snohomish’s defense dominates in win over Meadowdale

The Panthers limited the Mavericks to 54 rushing yards in their 38-6 victory.

Glacier Peak outlasts Jackson 48-41 in 2OT epic

GP’s Ayden Ziomas accounted for 7 TDs, including the 2-point conversion that forced overtime.

Week 4: Prep football stars of the night

Austin Lane, QB, Lakewood Lane, a senior, completed 21 of 26 passes… Continue reading

Richardson having an impact on Seattle’s defensive line

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Jimmy Graham will play this Sunday despite ankle injury.

UW, Colorado set for rematch of Pac-12 title game

The Huskies won convincingly at a neutral site last season, but this time have to travel to Boulder.

WHL Preseason Capsules: The East Division

Here is our final installment of the WHL preseason capsules. Today examines… Continue reading

Most Read