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Soccer player signs up for charity

Posted: February 16, 2009 12:12 a.m.
Updated: February 16, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Lawson Vaughn signs autographs for a group of kids at the Santa Clarita Soccer Center Sunday.

 
Nine-year-old Andy Ramirez and his brother Marco once cheered for pro soccer player Lawson Vaughn from the stands of a stadium, and on Sunday Vaughn showed up at a Saugus soccer game to return the cheer.

Vaughn, a midfielder and defense player for Major League Soccer team Chivas USA, visited the Santa Clarita Soccer Center Sunday to promote an upcoming charity benefit game in Santa Clarita.

The March 1 exhibition game at College of the Canyons' Cougar Stadium benefits the Michael Hoefflin Foundation, which provides emotional and financial support to Santa Clarita Valley families faced with childhood cancer.

"I like to talk to my fans and spread the word about Chivas USA, but also bring awareness about the foundation. I think it's a good cause," Vaughn said. "

Vaughn said he will not play at the exhibition game due to an ankle injury but will show up to support the benefit.

"As players we've got to get out in the community and talk to kids," he said. "It's good to get them out and show the kids what they can become."

A swarm of soccer players Sunday asked Vaughn to autograph just about anything they could find.

"Kids come up and they want me to sign anything they have: shoes, shirts, people ask me to sign their wallets and dollar bills," he said.

Fourteen-year-old Marco Ramirez, of Canyon Country, said he admires Vaughn for more than just his soccer skills.

"I think it's really good that he actually puts his time and his effort into (promoting the charity)," Ramirez said. "Not a lot of players do that because of their egos. They think they're too big. I think it's real cool of him to help out and put his time into it. It shows that he cares."

Chivas USA played at Cougar Stadium in February 2008 to promote the foundation. Chivas USA will play the Ventura County Fusion Soccer Club at the March game.

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