Homeless Take on Cops in a Friendly For A Good Cause

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

You don’t usually think of cops and the homeless chilling a lot together, but apparently they will come together for the sake of soccer and a good cause. The Street Soccer USA Cup is drawing nearer, and in order to make it to the big dance, St. Louis’ street soccer team the Roadies needed to raise money through an unlikely exhibition that definitely beats out USA vs. Spain for the coolest friendly of the past week.

St. Louis’ street soccer team, the Roadies, took on the police team of Unsung Heroes in an exhibition match in the car wash parking lot across from Amsterdam Tavern last night. The game’s goal (no pun intended) was to raise money for the Street Soccer USA Cup in Washington, D.C., June 10-12. The game brought jokes — lots of them — curious fans from the neighborhood, an intentionally barefoot player (ouch) and more than one rogue soccer ball.

It also attempted to raise the final $1,000 the homeless players need to send an eleven-man squad to D.C. next week. Total price tag: $5,000.

Last year, with Amsterdam’s help, the team raised $1,050 at a similar event. This year’s fundraising has been helped by one coach who won $2,000 in an ugly Christmas sweater contest and donated the funds to the team.

Wow, that coach must have killed it with that sweater. $2,ooo For an ugly Christmas sweater!? I think Sepp just found a new fundraiser for FIFA’s next money binge. That guy is definitely going to be at the next congress in Zurich. Also, if the match was in an abandoned car wash surely that’s a missed opportunity for a second revenue stream.

Founded by Peter & Paul Community Services four years ago, the Roadies have competed at the national level each year. Membership on the team is a doorway for services including job searches, resume advice, drug and alcohol counseling and help reconnecting with families. Being on the team requires a pledge of 100 percent sobriety; entrance into the workplace is strongly encouraged.

“Usually when you hear about police and homeless people, it’s negative, so we wanted to do something positive,” Deisner says. “We wanted to do something to show that they help. It’s not a stereotype.”

The score? Sorry, it grew pretty hard to keep track.

“We’ll say 7-6,” police officer Jason Corson says of his team’s win. “I don’t think anybody’s really sure, but that sounds close.”

Hey, everyone needs a tough friendly before a trophy is on the line. Just ask Bob Bradley. Plus the game was played in front of the mayor of St. Louis, Francis Slay (pictured above). All in all pretty damn cool. Good luck to the Roadies at the Cup in D.C.



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