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Portland Timbers visit Idaho's Juniors Futbol Club

The Portland Timbers soccer team paid young soccer players a visit Monday in Meridian to promote inclusion after the club received a racist letter in January.

MERIDIAN - A group of young soccer players got a major surprise Monday night. Players, past and present, from the Portland Timbers soccer team paid them a visit at Settlers Park in Meridian.

Players introduced themselves, signed autographs, took pictures and played some skills games with the kids.

What made Monday's visit even more special was they spent time with the Juniors Futbol Club, the same club that received a racist letter regarding some of the team's players back in January.

Since then, the club has received support from all over the world, including their fellow Timbers who had been trying to set this up since that letter came to light.

President of the Juniors Futbol Club, Jeromy Tarkon, says the visit went beyond the game of soccer.

"I just want them to be loved," Tarkon said. "That's it. They need to know that they're loved, that there's more people out there that support them despite what they look like, talk like, what their skin color is."

The Timbers players said they feel a connection to the team because their teammates come from all over the globe.

"It's nice always to know different cultures, different people," said Timbers defender Roy Miller. "Like the kids here, they are from different parts, different countries so it's always nice to learn from them, to share the culture habits like we do in Portland."

One major piece of advice the pros had: Enjoy the game, especially at this age and everything else will come.

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