as part of our mission to connect talented young players from low-income families in dc with high-level developmental soccer experiences, we’re consistently searching for new opportunities and unique partnerships to allow our players to grow with the game and make the most of their potential on the pitch. in December, we hosted our first ever free DC United Academy tryout for Open Goal Project players. nearly 200 youth players from more than 50 local schools attended, and a total of 11 players were invited back for extended trial runs with United Academy teams. teaming up with United and DC SCORES, we empowered nearly 200 players from DC Public Schools to be evaluated by DCU Academy coaches and trainers at United’s training complex. we hosted three sessions, giving players from 4th grade to 12th grade the chance to play in front of and potentially be identified by coaches for Academy selection. this tryout and unique partnership was an important step for our mission as we continue to look for ways to even the playing field for players all over our city who have never had opportunities, like this one, to realize their full potential as players on the field and young people off the field. for the 11 players who were invited back for extended tryouts with the club, Open Goal Project has been working with those players and their parents to provide them with logistical coordination, assistance with transportation and translation services to make sure they can make the most of this unique opportunity and hopefully be selected to join DC United's youth program. the players who have been invited back by DCU coaches were not playing any formal soccer outside of DC SCORES or DC Public School teams, a stunning confirmation of our belief that if we give our players an opportunity to shine and a platform to be seen, the sky is the limit.