Kalani Takamura (Photo courtesy of W. Scotte MacQueen and Capital FC)A teenager who lives on Capitol Hill might have the opportunity to travel the world as a member of the U.S. Soccer Federation’s national team for boys who are 15 years old or younger.

Kalani Takamura, a 13-year-old member of the District’s Capital Futbol Club, was one of 48 kids selected to train with U.S. Soccer’s U-15 Boys’ National Team last week in California. The soccer federation uses the training camp to help pick boys to play for the United States abroad.

Mike Barrette, Capital FC’s coach, said Takamura played well over the summer.

“He has always been the smallest kid on the team, but his skill, heart and dedication to the game sets him apart,” Barrette said in a statement released today.

Councilman Charles Allen of Ward 6 said he is proud of Takamura and is working to ensure that kids like him have more athletic fields to use in the Capitol Hill area, including the RFK Stadium campus.

“Ensuring every child in the District can take advantage of the excellent opportunities available through our local youth sports programs means we have to provide access to the fields and playing space they need,” Allen said in a statement.

Photo courtesy of W. Scotte MacQueen and Capital FC

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With a declaration of “Vamos United,” Mayor Muriel today officially announced that the D.C. United soccer team will construct a new home in Southwest.

Speaking at a news conference at the Wilson Building, Bowser invited members of her economic development team, the Council and D.C. United to the podium to mark the end of negotiations between the city and the team. Bowser’s office will deliver a package with the final, agreed-upon deal to the Council today.

“I am pleased that not only will they stay in D.C., but that they are going to be in a state-of-the-art, world-class stadium in the District of Columbia,” Bowser said. “This deal has been in the works for many years. [Councilman] Jack [Evans of Ward 2] told me he’s heard three mayors say this stadium was going to happen.”

Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said he and his colleagues will likely approve the package before their July 15 recess.

“We’re very supportive of this project, as is obvious by the fact that the Council approved legislation for this project in December,” Mendelson told Hill Now after the news conference. “There’s no reason it should take any more time than is minimally necessary to go forward with this project.”

The Council first approved the stadium and allocated $150 million of taxpayer funds toward the project in December.

Yesterday, Bowser announced that final agreements concerning the upcoming stadium had been finalized. She said the contract clarifies the stadium’s size and construction timeline, establishes methods of community engagement and provides financial protections for District residents.

The deal also includes an agreement that ensures the soccer team will remain in the stadium long after the facility’s construction.

Contractors will build the $300 million D.C. United soccer stadium at Buzzard Point, which is just southwest of  Nationals Park. The stadium’s construction is expected to take 15 months, finishing in time for D.C. United’s March 2018 season opener.

The mayor said development around the stadium will bring approximately 440 construction jobs and 750 full-time jobs to the area.

Tom Hunt, chief operating officer for D.C. United, said the agreement is a significant step forward for D.C. United and the District.

“It’s the construction trucks that people are excited to see at Buzzard Point,” Hunt said. “But our fans are excited to see the moving trucks coming in. We’re very excited to move forward.”

The agreement also ended any speculation the team may relocate to Virginia.

“Let it be clear that D.C. is the sports capital and that we are the home of D.C. United,” Bowser said.

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D.C. United (Photo via Facebook/D.C. United )Diehard D.C. United fans can shop this weekend for gear worn and used by the team.

The annual D.C. United equipment sale is set to be held at RFK Stadium on Saturday. Items for sale from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. inside the Capitol View Club (2400 E. Capitol St. SE) include game-worn player jerseys and shorts, team jackets, balls used in matches and more.

All proceeds benefit the team’s charity, United for D.C., the team’s website says. The group backs recreational and educational programs for needy youth in greater Washington.

At the sale, the club will collect new, unwrapped toys for local children.

For more information, see the team’s website.

Photo via Facebook/D.C. United

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