The Seattle Sounders signed 18-year-old Xander Bailey as part of the Make-A-Wish program on Wednesday. By Friday, he was training with his favorite club, passing with Clint Dempsey and running with DeAndre Yedlin. On Saturday, he was on the field, playing in front of 55,000 fans against Tottenham Hotspur.
Bailey found out on Saturday morning that he would start for Seattle when they took on Spurs in a friendly at CenturyLink Field. And so he stepped out on the pitch, the crowd came to its feet and he dribbled straight to within 18 yards of goal and let a shot rip -- only it was straight at Brad Friedel, who saved it.
Bailey was subbed off right after the play, but he got on the pitch. The kid, who has cystic fibrosis, played in front of a giant crowd, and for his favorite team. Also notable (and jealousy inducing), he got a hug from Clint Dempsey.
Clint Dempsey embraces Xander Bailey, the Make-a-Wish kid that Seattle started in their friendly today: pic.twitter.com/HI5GpGzjVE— Justin Russo (@FlyByKnite) July 19, 2014
Bailey did it with the full support of the Sounders crowd, too, who came prepared to support him.
Xander has banners and has people wearing his jersey in Seattle! ESPN 2! pic.twitter.com/GxJoO4hGh7— Levi Pack (@ItsJustLevi) July 19, 2014
But most importantly, Brad Evans loves him.