August 01, 2011
Mia Hamm hosted the fourth annual Celebrity Soccer Challenge in Washington over the weekend to benefit her charitable foundation and it featured a wide array of athletes, local media people and a guy from "Survivor."
The FC Mia team featured the likes of Kobe Bryant, U.S. women's team star Alex Morgan, Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola and the Washington Redskins' D'Angelo Hall. Their opponents, Nomar United (named for Hamm's husband, retired baseball player Nomar Garciaparra), included the USWNT's Ali Krieger and Heather O'Reilly, plus Stat Boy from ESPN.
Since he grew up in Italy, Kobe has often talked about his long-standing love for football and his Barca support was even a cover story for ESPN the Magazine two years ago. So how did he do playing the game for the first time in 20 years? He gave his honest opinion to NBC Washington after it was over.
"I know who wasn't the MVP," said an unusually modest Kobe. "That was me."
Though his own goal in the video above (see another angle of it here) and the other goal he allowed while playing keeper certainly weren't worthy of an MVP award, it's hard to fault the guy for being a little rusty after not playing since he was 12. Still, talking to Alex Morgan with his hands down the front of his shorts probably didn't help his case for MVP, either...
He did remove them long enough to take this shot tweeted by Morgan, though:
But during halftime of the Barcelona-Manchester United match the night before, Kobe showed off his juggling skills and ability to slot a penalty kick into the bottom corner. Have a look...
First pic: @christoy
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