Went out to the Dallas Cup youth soccer tournament at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco Tuesday afternoon and bumped into an amazing team of 12- and 13-year-olds. They were extremely skillful on the field. Polite and bubbly during interviews. And, oh, did I mention they hail from Baghdad?
The Iraqi Under-14s have quickly become the darlings of the event, the world's most prominent youth tournament. You can catch them playing today at 4 p.m. or again this weekend, as I seriously doubt they will lose a game in the tournament. They score, they smile, they celebrate. Boy, do they celebrate. After beating a team from Mexico 6-1 they sang and danced and generally turned Pizza Hut Park Field #6 into a mosh pit, even though they have no idea what a mosh pit is.
They do, however, know what is to be happy. And safe. One of the team's managers wore a T-shirt with an American bald eagle framed by Arabic language. The team's interpreter told me what the shirt read: "Freedom."
Cue the goose bumps. --Richie Whitt
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.