AUSTIN (KXAN) — Not everyone gets to meet their heroes, but a 10-year-old Austin FC fanatic stuck around Q2 Stadium long enough to get the surprise of his life after a match.
Christian was in the stadium’s parking lot with his mother Anne after Verde’s 1-1 tie with the Colorado Rapids, and he saw a bunch of players leaving. The young soccer player himself, who does a spot-on impression of Maxi Urruti after he scores, thought he’d wave at the players as they pulled out and headed home.
What happened next, “filled Christian’s eyes with hope,” Anne said.
Austin FC players Dani Pereira, Brad Stuver, Julio Cascante, Sebastian Driussi, Gyasi Zardes, Emiliano Rigoni and Urruti all stopped on their way out to talk with Christian about soccer and take photos with him. Anne watched as her son jumped up and down with excitement and cried happy tears as he met players he looks up to.
“It doesn’t matter if they win or lose, he admires them without limitation, and what Austin FC has done for my family is indescribable,” she said. “We have become a closer family through futbol.”
Anne, a Round Rock ISD teacher, used the result against a winless Rapids team as a teachable moment for Christian. She said his club soccer team had a match earlier in the day and things haven’t been going as well in the spring season as they did in the fall. She and Christian sat in Q2 after the match and talked about how to lose with grace, persevere and overcome adversity.
“This brief moment with the team couldn’t have come at a better time,” Anne said. “I used the game as a textbook example. A draw was not the outcome we wanted, but with the right mindset, we will surely come back stronger having learned from our mistakes.”
After meeting the players, Anne said Christian talked about how he wants to be a professional soccer player on the ride back home and that he’ll use the moment with his team and cheer himself up when he’s feeling down.
“I told him to never stop dreaming big,” she said. “It was a beautiful experience for both of us.”