(WASHINGTON) — President Obama on Tuesday honored the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and the Major League Soccer champion LA Galaxy at the White House, saying the teams share more than their hometown, “they also share a pretty good comeback story.”
Back at the White House for a second year in a row, Obama joked that the Galaxy was “starting to get a little comfortable around here because they just keep on coming back.”
But when the Galaxy visited the White House last year, their chances of repeating as champions didn’t look very good, Obama explained. “The injury bug plagued the team. It seemed like it might be a rebuilding year. But right after that visit, they turned things around,” he said.
“And you can call it a coincidence, but I just want to point out that right after they visited with me the Galaxy built the best record in the league,” he added, to laughter from the packed crowd in the East Room.
The Kings’ story, Obama noted, was markedly different. Before last year, L.A. had never won the Stanley Cup. “But something happened during the playoffs — timing is everything,” Obama said. “These guys just kept winning game after game after game. And eventually, the rest of the league started to take notice.”
After lauding both teams, the president posed for pictures. Galaxy star attacker and former captain Landon Donovan presented the president with a team ball, which Obama promptly bounced off his head.
“I hope you guys caught that,” Obama said to the press. “That doesn’t happen very often.”
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Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Stephen Collinson and MJ Lee, CNN
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Eric Bradner, Dana Bash and MJ Lee, CNN