With D.C. United's busy schedule set to continue this week with three matches in the next eight days, United announced a special call up on Thursday, with Francis Wesley of Richard Montgomery High School signing for the game on Saturday against the Philadelphia Union.
Through the Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic Foundation, Wesley spent Friday with the team, working with the team during practice, and spending time with the players afterwards, in prep for his appearance with the team on Saturday.
"It was great playing along with these guys. I'm playing with pros, and stuff like that. It was pretty amazing," Wesley told a group of reporters after practice.
Wesley, who is battling Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma, was a full participant in Friday's practice. United, who is coming off a loss Wednesday in Portland against the Timbers, got back to practice on Friday, looking to end a three game winless streak.
And Wesley will be right along side the team for that.
"He's a good player. Not a lot of kids can come out here and go through a passing drill, and go through our shape drill," United manager Ben Olsen told B&RU after practice. "So it was a lot of fun that he was able to be a part of training, and sit around and hang with the guys."
Wesley said that while his best position is in midfield or up top as a forward, he enjoyed speaking to defender Kofi Opare the most during the practice. Afterwards, he was all smiles.
"It was great. We take ourselves so serious, especially in the sports industry," Olsen added. "And to have reality checks like Francis come in is great for us, great for him. Make-A-Wish does a fantastic job with this stuff."
In addition to being able to practice with the team, there were a couple of other added bonuses for the 17 year old.
"No school, no homework, nothing like that.," Wesley said.
"He's a great kid. And I think he had a fun day."