By Lindsay Rico
The game was over. Tied. But the excitement was just beginning. About 100 fans (and parents) leaned over steel barriers holding out soccer balls, jerseys, t-shirts-anything that would take ink -eager for the Boston Breakers and Philadelphia Independence players to plant their sharpies.
Leslie Osborne, Breakers co-captain, remembers being that young girl starting her soccer career at ten years old. Is she is ever too tired after a game to sign autographs? “No,” she says. “No matter how tired I am, I always remind myself of how much it would mean to me if I were that little girl to meet the players I look up to and get that autograph.”
Squeezed in among fans in “autograph alley,” I saw a girl clutching a Leslie Osborne poster with a smile on her face. Her dad struggled to find room on a child-sized Breakers shirt that was already covered in signatures. “How important is it that the Breakers come and meet their fans?” I asked. Dan, 44, didn’t pause: “My ten year old daughter is inspired by this. It’s great for her to come here and meet her role models.”
Further down autograph alley, I met Payton, 11, bundled up in soccer gear and ear muffs ( it was super cold!).