Soccer players have been known to celebrate goals with shirts raised in tribute to injured or absent teammates, and that tradition took on a new angle in the Philadelphia Union's 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo at Talen Energy Stadium on Sunday.
When Kacper Przybylko scored the game's opening goal, he ran to the sideline to grab a shirt emblazoned with Walt Whitman's phrase "O Captain! My Captain" and held it aloft in front of the Philly faithful, then flashed it to Union skipper Alejandro Bedoya before the two embraced.
O Kacper Our Kacper - the friendly striker supporting Ale Bedoya's voice. The shirt he's holding helps charities that support Ale's cause. Available today in the Union shop. #DOOP | #PHIvHOU pic.twitter.com/IHHySoSIZm— Philadelphia Union (@PhilaUnion) August 11, 2019
After the match, he confirmed that his gesture was a statement of support for Bedoya, who made international headlines last week with his empassioned plea for Congressional action on gun violence in the United States.
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"It was also a surprise for Ale because he did a great job with the statement. I support him. The whole team supports him. He’s totally right with that," said Przybylko.
Przybylko on his celebration: “It was also a surprise for Ale because he did a great job with the statement. I support him. The whole team supports him. He’s totally right with that." #DOOP https://t.co/YwRsGwP0Ro— Joe Tansey (@JTansey90) August 12, 2019
The Eastern Conference-leading Union have the shirt design for sale in their team shop at the stadium, with proceeds benefiting charities selected by Bedoya. Sunday's stock sold out: