Real Salt Lake’s Sebastian Saucedo surprises kids at Park City school
When the kids at McPolin Elementary School filed into their cafeteria for a school assembly on Monday afternoon, they had no idea what was awaiting them.
With more than just the typical awards that were being given out, principal Bob Edmiston announced that behind the curtain was a surprise.
When the time came, Sebastian “Bofo” Saucedo walked out from behind a curtain to applause from the 100-plus kids and teachers in attendance.
Saucedo, a midfielder for Real Salt Lake, was front and center to announced that the “Scoring for Schools” intiative, launched by RSL owner Dell Loy Hansen last year, was coming to McPolin Elementary.
This was personal to the 22-year-old Saucedo because he attended McPolin Elementary as youngster. It was on the same fields that Saucedo dreamt of becoming a Major League Soccer player; where he first learned how to play soccer for fun that would later become his career.
“If I had to give any advice to everyone here, it would be to never give up on your dreams and that anything is possible,” Saucedo told the crowd. “Because of my experience here at McPolin, I was able to dream big and then later accomplish those dreams
Part of the initiative included Saucedo presenting each of McPolin’s teacher with an extra $250, to be used in any fashion they see fit to better improve the education process for their students. This was particularly personal for Hansen, as he comes from a family of educators and knows firsthand the struggles that teachers encounter in order to properly educate their students.
For Saucedo, presenting the check wasn’t enough as he also presented PE teacher Nate Brown with a dozen brand new soccer balls for the school, all of which Saucedo signed. He also gave Edmiston a variety of signed RSL gear, including a scarf, posters and jerseys that can be distributed to students as Edmiston sees fit.
This generosity was personal for Saucedo as attending McPolin helped him adapt in school and make friends.
“This is my home and this community is who I am,” said Saucedo, whose parents still live close to the school. “The teachers here really strengthened my ability to speak two languages, helping me learn English. … I am so glad to be bilingual and that wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for McPolin.”
At the conclusion of the assembly, Saucedo signed autographs for anyone who was asking, even signing a Michael Jordan t-shirt, which he admitted was “pretty funny.”
With McPolin serving as the first stepping stone in his journey to becoming a professional soccer player, being able to give back to the school that gave him so much was something he always imagined doing. Now that it’s accomplished, Saucedo is turning his attention toward helping RSL make the MLS playoffs.
“I just feel blessed to have my first World Cup podium. I’m screaming on the inside. I may not show it, but I’m jumping for joy because I’m just that excited and happy to have this accomplishment.”
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