WASHINGTON – The South Lawn transformed into a youth soccer clinic Monday afternoon and early evening, a celebration of MLS All-Star Week arriving in the nation’s capital.

The White House event, hosted by First Lady Jill Biden, welcomed local children and their families as a reminder of how sports can unite communities and empower young people. And, judging by the smiles on the players’ faces, it was an occasion they’ll never forget.

“To our young athletes: I hope you enjoy this incredible experience,” said Biden while sporting an MLS All-Stars jersey. “And I want to thank you for your dedication and commitment that you show to your families, your teams, your schools and your communities. Find your passions and follow your dreams. Remember the endless possibilities that exist within each one of you.”

The clinic featured several mini-pitches as coaches led players through warm-ups, skills-focused drills and scrimmages. Players donned MLS GO jerseys, showcasing the recreational program launching this fall that’s designed to increase participation and access for boys and girls outside of the existing soccer ecosystem.

Before famed English side Arsenal FC is the opponent for marquee events at D.C. United’s Audi Field – the MLS All-Star Skills Challenge presented by AT&T 5G on Tuesday evening, followed by the MLS All-Star Game presented by Target on Wednesday evening – there was a window into what the sport’s truly about.

“It's a terrific day – the beautiful game comes to this beautiful home, comes to the White House,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. “For Major League Soccer, for our sport and the young players that are represented here, they are the next generation of soccer players in our country. This is a moment I'm sure all of you will remember forever.”


During the clinic, several MLS NEXT All-Stars, as well as TikTok star and MLS Social Playmaker Noah Beck, joined the drills as guest coaches. Fighting off the summer heat and humidity, the White House offered water and lemonade as refreshments for hydration breaks. And, yes, orange slices were among the snacks provided.

As the clinic wound down, players were joined by eight MLS All-Stars spanning from Kei Kamara (Chicago Fire FC) and Luciano Acosta (FC Cincinnati) to Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC) and Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC). They even shared a ceremonial first kick with the participants, scoring on one of the pop-up goals.

The highlights weren’t done there, though. President Joe Biden made a surprise appearance after a formal photo was taken, greeting participants and sharing well wishes before returning inside the White House.

All throughout, there was a reminder soccer can be an empowering force and inspire.

“To the future soccer stars that are here with us today: We hope that some of you grow up to become players for D.C. United or the Washington Spirit, or even find a very compelling career in soccer off the field,” said Garber. “Whatever your chosen journey is, be fearless and dream big.”