Photo: @JPughNBC

Hi, my name is Ian Oland. I’m driving this here Capitals bandwagon. Over the last month, we’ve traveled all over the continent, picking up many new friends. In fact, there are so many strangers here, we’ve had to put on name-tags and start force-feeding IVs to our exhausted oxen via beer guzzlers. But we must carry on.

Our first new member is someone we’ve known a while. Over the last five decades, he’s walked near the bandwagon and sometimes he’s even come up and whimsically touched the side. But this year he finally jumped on.

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The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant greets John Carlson before the match. (Photo credit: Chris Gordon)

As a member of the Washington Capitals, John Carlson is no stranger to lighthearted games of soccer, often playing along with his teammates to warmup before taking the ice.

But on Sunday, he joined in a pick-up match with meaning, participating in the Mia Hamm Foundation‘s annual Celebrity Soccer Challenge, held this year at Kastles Stadium in Southwest D.C.

The game, put on by Hamm and her husband, former MLB star Nomar Garciaparra, encourages people to join the bone marrow donor registry while raising money for Children’s National Medical Center. It was started in honor of Hamm’s late brother, Garrett, who passed away from aplastic anemia, a bone marrow condition, in 1997.

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