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Remarks During a Rose Garden Meeting with Members of Local Youth Soccer Teams

October 14, 1982

The President. Members of the Green Raiders and members of the Stompers, you probably are aware of who are with me here today. Oh, by the way, my name's Ronald Reagan. [Laughter] These gentlemen with me, though, are better known to you, I'm sure.

This is the great Pele, and I don't think there's ever been a soccer player in the history of the game that has the record that he has worldwide as a great player -- playing in the World Cup many times, and started when he was 16 years old. And this is Steve Moyers, who is with the New York Cosmos, and is the greatest American-born scorer in American soccer.

And Pele is working very hard to bring something about that I think all of you would look forward to with great joy, and that is, in the spreading of soccer as a sport throughout the world -- and he's been instrumental in doing that -- to bring the United States into World Cup competition, so that we join in the -- it's every 4 years, isn't it? The World Cup?

Pele. Exactly. The World Cup is every 4 years, and they have more than 250 countries involved in soccer in the World Cup. I wish to see the Americans there, because I trust the kids. I trust -- like Steve here.

The President. Well, now these two gentlemen are just going to give you a little demonstration here of kicking the ball back and forth a little bit.

Note: The President spoke at 3:05 p.m. to the soccer players on two local area youth teams -- the Green Raiders and the Stompers.

Prior to joining the children in the Rose Garden, the President met with Brazilian soccer player Edson Arantes do Nacimento (Pele) and Steve Moyers in the Oval Office.

Following the demonstration by Pele and Mr. Moyers, Pele spoke to the young players. The President then tossed the ball into the center of the Rose Garden, and the two teams competed in a short game.