UPDATE (March 5) – Sacha Kljestan's wish came true, with the LA Galaxy's veteran midfielder exchanging jerseys with Charlotte FC rookie Christopher Hegardt after Saturday's inaugural MLS match at Bank of America Stadium, a 1-0 win for the visitors before a record-setting crowd of 74,479 fans.
The heartwarming moment postgame between second-half substitutes arrived after Kljestan shared a personal story Friday of meeting a younger Hegardt in 2010 when he was battling liver cancer.
"I think for me, the whole moral of the story there is be a good person," Kljestan said postgame. "It didn't cost me anything to be kind to him and his family that day and if it just gave him 1% of hope or it just made him smile a little bit that day, then it was all worth it."
ORIGINAL (March 4) – The midfield battle between Charlotte FC and LA Galaxy in Saturday’s highly-anticipated match at Bank of America Stadium (7:30 pm ET | FOX, FOX Deportes), one that’s expected to approach a record-setting 75,000 fans in attendance, could feature a blast from the past.
LA’s Sacha Kljestan, back in 2010, visited Children's Hospital Los Angeles and met a young patient. That ended up being none other than Charlotte rookie Christopher Hegardt, as the 36-year-old shared on Twitter.
Kljestan, a Chivas USA player in 2010 moving to Belgium’s Anderlecht, gave Hegardt a US men’s national team jersey at the time. Now he hopes for a jersey swap with the Georgetown University product as his professional career gets underway.
Perhaps the 20-year-old San Diego native will make Kljestan’s wish come true, 12 years later?