By Justin A. Rice
With a poet for a mother, it was only fate that former US Men’s National team member and New England Revolution star, Alexi Lalas, was destined to be involved with America Scores—the national after school program that has brought creative writing and soccer to BPS students for more than a decade.
“My mother introduced to the Scores program,” Lalas said at the New England Scores 2010 Celebration silent auction & reception on Wednesday night at the Boston College Club. “I was living in Washington D.C. and playing for the National team many, many years ago in the ’90s and this was right up our alley. My mother is not only a writer but she’s a poet and I’m very, very proud of what she does even though I don’t understand half the stuff she writes. But she’s still my mother so I nod and say ‘That’s great.’
“It’s alright. I tell her that all the time. She wouldn’t mind. But it’s almost like I was destined to be part of this program because what it incorporates, two things that I love, in terms of creative writing and a sport we all know and love: soccer. And it was wonderful to find something like that.”
Founded in 1999, America Scores New England reaches more than 1,500 students in 19 Boston public elementary and middle schools through programming opportunities that runs year-round.
Lalas, who will be an analyst at ESPN for the World Cup in June, is a board member of the Scores affiliate in Los Angeles. He spoke about the importance of team sports for youth development and learning the power of teamwork and the value of both commitment and dedication. Lalas explained that these are all traits that transcend the soccer field and have an incredible effect both in the classroom and community.
“Growing up, my parents never imagined their son would be a professional soccer player,” he said. “In fact, in the beginning they didn’t know very much about sports at all. What they did know, however, was that I was passionate about the game and that I was learning lessons on the field that made me a better person off of it. Particularly in the classroom.”
For more information, visit AmericaSCORESNewEngland.org