Professional athletes are going above and beyond to support their local troops, and recently they found an excellent partner in USO Houston.
Houston Dynamo midfielder and captain Brad Davis and goalkeeper Tally Hall – founders of Banded Brigade Outdoors – hosted a four-a-side soccer tournament for local troops last week. The tournament included six teams: five from active-duty services plus a veteran squad.
Soldiers from the Army Reserve’s 75th Training Command competed against airmen from the 147th Refueling Wing, Marines from 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, sailors from Navy Operations Support Command, Coasties from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Houston and veterans from Lone Star Veterans Association.
The opening rounds of the tournament, presented by Direct Energy in partnership with Banded Brigade Outdoors and USO Houston, took place Aug. 14 on the Dynamo practice field at Houston Amateur Sports Park . The Marines and Coasties emerged as the top two teams.
“This four-a-side soccer tournament was a terrific display of the esprit de corps of our service members,” said Elizabeth Vallette, director of USO Houston. “The competition was intense, but as you’d expect, the troops were all professional and good sports. It’s gratifying to see several local organizations – Direct Energy, Banded Brigade Outdoors, Houston Dynamo and USO Houston – come together and pool our resources collaboratively around the goal of lifting the spirits of our troops.”
The championship game was held after the Dynamo game at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday, where the Coast Guard claimed a 1-0 victory. As a reward, the Coast Guard squad will be treated to a December duck hunt by Banded Brigade Outdoors. USO Houston will support that event, too.
“We at BBO enjoyed this event tremendously,” Davis said. “It was great to see our service members out on the field competing and enjoying themselves. We enjoyed the camaraderie and the banter that was going on between all the branches and look forward to future events!”
–Story by Joseph Andrew Lee, USO staff writer