(September 30th, 2018--Jersey City, NJ) Alex Lalaoui, founder and coaching director of The Soccer Learning Center Academy Adult & Youth Divisions in Jersey City, recently donated 30 New York Red Bulls tickets to Explore Middle School.
Lalaoui has a close relationship with the Explore community as many of his soccer clinics and events take place in the Community Education and Recreation Center, home to Explore Middle School.
Coach Lalaoui donated the tickets for a doubleheader featuring the New York Red Bull vs. Atlanta United followed by the U.S. Soccer Heroes Community Cup charity match featuring First Responders v. Civilians.
Coach Lalaoui is the visionary behind the U.S. Soccer Heroes which was founded in 2008 as he organized competitive tournaments for the Heroes Cup between the Jersey City Police Department and the Jersey City Fire Department.
Since then, Lalaoui and the U.S. Soccer Heroes organization has grown to include the Hudson County Corrections Department, the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, the Port Authority Police Department, the Hoboken Police Department, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement in tournaments.
The organization continues to be an active part of the community. In 2010 they held a tournament in honor of fallen Jersey City police officer Marc DiNardo. And in 2012 they began hosting specialized soccer training programs for autistic children from New Jersey along with many other community-based events. To learn more information about U.S. Soccer Heroes go to, www.ussoccerheroes.com.
Many members of the Explore Middle School community were excited to hear about the donated tickets. Principal Krone and Supervisor Velazquez raffled off the tickets for anyone interested. The winners included: mathematics teacher Mary Ellen Kettleman and students Darius Rush, Hudson Khadka, Giovani Figueroa, Aiden Chapas, and JonPierre Saitta.
7th grader Giovani Figueroa was especially happy to win the tickets as this was his first time attending a professional soccer game. Giovani went with both his parents who he said were just as eager as he was. “This was my very first soccer game so I was very excited and I can’t wait to go to another game again. My mom and dad went with me and they had a really great time. I was rooting for the Red Bulls and they won. At the end of the game, the stadium went crazy. Everyone was standing and chanting. I can’t wait to go again!”
Ms. Kettleman and her family spent the day at the game as well. “It was a great day and a great game! We were sitting right behind the goal, so we had a wonderful view of the game. The fans had a fantastic energy, and it was an added bonus that our team won. My family and I enjoyed the day out. It was a nice way to build that community feeling. Go Red Bulls!”