Photo: sports.ru

On June 1st, Washington Capitals rookie forward Evgeny Kuznetsov traveled to the city of Kopeysk, located in the region of Chelyabinsk, to play a friendly. Every Children’s Day, Kopeysk hosts a charity soccer game. This year’s pitted hockey players against the city’s district administration.

Kuznetsov, joined by KHL players Georgy Gelashvili, Danis Zaripov, Anton Burdasov, defeated the city officials, but it took an extraordinary effort by the Caps young gun.

(Yes, we’re writing seriously about a soccer game right now. Summer can’t end soon enough.)

With the hockey players down 6-5, Kuznetsov dribbled the ball down the field and scored on booming shot from a bad angle.

Look at that two-sport superstar right there.

In the shootout, Kuznetsov switched positions and played goalie. The hockey players won 7-3.

“Coming back to Chelyabinsk was a secret, so no fans met me at the airport,” Kuznetsov explained to kopeysk-okrug.ru and translated by Fedor Fedin. “So it’s very pleasant to be met that well in Kopeysk. It’s the third year we play soccer at Khimik stadium. And the changes are easy to notice. I liked the new soccer field. It’s good to see Kopeysk developing, new sports venues getting built. I liked everything. I’ll sure come next year to congratulate the kids!”









Photos via SMI Kopeysk’s Google Plus page. See the full gallery here.


Additional reporting by Fedor Fedin.

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  • Trail Runner

    What’s with Kuznetsov wearing a Nets hat in the video? As long as he scoars goals I guess I won’t be able to complain.

  • SeminAllOverTheIce

    Now, who is gonna splice his shot with the crack kid and put it on vine?

  • troyerlaw

    Maybe he’s friends with the Russian guy who owns the Nets — Prokhorov.

    In other news, that Russian sports anchor lady looked kinda severe and serious. I wasn’t sure whether it was a segment on charity soccer match or Russia invading Ukraine.

  • Sarah

    Can somebody please make up a decent pun along the lines of Goalievechkin for Kuzya in net? It’s like, it should be a slam dunk, but I’m having an off day.

  • Steven Lemmeyer
  • Sage Confucius

    I loved the keepers trying to make saves like they were on ice.

  • Jon A

    Kuzya-blocks-the-net-off? Oh wait, you said decent pun…. Whoops!

    Ah that goal he scored from the soccer Ovie-spot was amazing. makes me wish it was October already.

  • Sarah

    Kutz-nets-off? Nah, that’s not it either. Dang.
    Anyway, I’m with you. I miss hockey and it’s not even over yet. I’d watch soccer if city officials and hockey players played it more often, but unfortunately it’s played by professional soccer players who act like this:


    I mean, honest to God, has nobody on either team ever had a dog? Nobody? Or even a sense of humor like, from the sound of it, about 100% of the fans?
    Literally not a single one of them can think of anything to do but complain to the official. What the hell do they want him to do, give the dog a red card?
    Ugh, soccer players. Give me NHLers like Carly any day.

  • Myan

    Ooo he hits it on the half volley too! Very nice!

  • The 90’s called. It wants its shoulder pads back.

  • Sarah

    Hmmm…. Kuznetsminder? Is that okay? This is bothering me. Russian star forwards who morph into goalies should get nicknames in their honor, especially when they win.

  • prut

    I’m so disappointed

  • Bilal

    Give him a Jersey and send him to Brazil! Russia doesn’t play for a couple days!

  • Jon A

    I agree. Hmmmm, getting better… How about Evgeny “The Last Line” Kuznetsov. Oh wait, that reminds me a little too much of the Cap’s last year and makes me a little sad.

    Yeah, bothering me too. There must be a decent nickname and maybe t-shirt idea there somewhere. Or at least a punny graphic that would look good printed on a beer can koozie.

  • Chris Cerullo

    He actually took that half volley really well. Good finish.

  • Chris Cerullo