President Barack Obama, who has filled in as an assistant coach for his daughter 10-year-old Sasha's soccer team this year, welcomed the 2010 MLS
champion Colorado Rapids to the White House and thanked them for teaching children and parents across the country how the game should be played.
"I have watched my share of games over the years," Obama said. "I'm used to seeing everybody gather around the ball, and then it kind of pops out somewhere, and everybody runs over to the ball."
The Rapids, Obama said, is a "mini-United Nations," with players from Argentina, England, France, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Scotland and Senegal. The night before the final game, Kosuke Komura "made a very inspiring speech to the team, but it was in Japanese, so nobody really understood what he was saying -- but it was really inspirational," Obama joked.
The president lauded the Rapids' community spirit, from helping the homeless to participating in charity events. "So these aren't just good players," Obama said, "they're also good people."