15 in 15 | Honorary Captain Harlem Clemons

Harlem Clemons was introduced to the Quakes by the St. Baldrick's Foundation. The foundation thought he would be the perfect child for the club's honorary captain position because he is a huge soccer fan that has faced a large amount of adversity at such a young age. Harlem is nine years old and lives in Oakland, CA. At the young age of five years old, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, but remained strong through each round of chemotherapy. His smile is infectious to all those around him and the Quakes immediately thought he was the perfect fit for their honorary captain position. 

On September 24, the Quakes welcomed Harlem and his family out to a closed-door training session at Avaya Stadium. Head coach Dominic Kinnear welcomed Harlem, even allowing him into the locker room afterwards. Harlem was able to meet all of the players inside the locker room as well as get to be a part of a chalk talk. 

Three days later, the Quakes front office and fan base welcomed Harlem and his family back to Avaya Stadium. The Quakes owners heard about Harlem and they too got involved by graciously donating their field level suite to the Clemons family. Upon his arrival, general manager John Doyle invited Harlem into his office where he signed a one-day contract. Kinnear welcomed him back into the locker room where his personalized kit was waiting for him in his very own locker. Harlem was asked to do a pre-game interview that made it on the big screen before the match. 

As the game approached, it was officially time to go on field as the honorary captain. Harlem lined up next to Chris Wondolowski in the player tunnel and filed out onto the pitch. As the starting XI lineup was called out, Harlem's name and photo was shown on the big screen. All fans in attendance cheered for him. There he stood for the next few minutes next to Wondolowski as the national anthem and pre game festivities took place. Harlem then followed Wondolowski over to the center circle for the coin toss. United States National Team and Real Salt Lake midfielder,Kyle Beckerman even welcomed Harlem with open arms. As the starting whistle was about to blow, Wondolowski gave Harlem one more hug. Neither team could break the deadlock until the Earthquakes got a goal by Matias Perez Garcia in the 87th minute. Harlem was there in the front row next to the team bench celebrating the goal. Just a few moments later, the whistle blew and the Quakes had won. Harlem was ecstatic, as were his friends and family. The Quakes rushed over to Harlem and gave him and his friends all high-fives.   


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