Eight-year-old Bheem Goyal had a special wish: he wanted to play goalie at a Seattle Sounders game. Thanks to a partnership between the Sounders and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Goyal, who is battling acute lymphocytic leukemia, was able to do just that during a recent game.
At the game, which took place on July 17, Goyal was given a jersey with his name on the back. He took his position in the goal and defended against Borussia Dortmund, making a save that sent the crowd into cheers. The Sounders posted a video of the impressive move on Twitter, saying, “What a debut. What a moment. Eight-year-old Bheem Goyal stars in goal and makes an opening save!”
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Fans loved the video and cheered on Goyal from the sidelines of the internet, saying “Absolutely top class. Well done.”
“Great stuff,” another user said. “What soccer is all about!
“In Seattle, that’s what we call a #ToughKid. Well done, Bheem!”
After the save, Goyal joined the team on the bench where the players lined up to give him high-fives.
Sports Illustrated reported that Goyal got a contract with the Sounders on July 10, which guaranteed he would play in the Dortmund match. In addition to playing in the game, Goyal participated in day-long goalie training.
Last year, the Sounders goalkeeper, Stefan Frei, shared a heart-warming message for Goyal while he was going through treatment.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.