Kids learn from a pro

Rapids star kicks grass with area youth

Jim Benton
Brian Mullan of the Rapids helps direct campers at the start of the July 24 Biddle Soccer Pro Camp at Littleton High School.
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Brian Mullan of the Colorado Rapids displayed his fitness as he hurried from chair to chair to have his picture taken with teams of soccer campers.

Mullan was a substitute for Edson Biddle, who had other commitments and could not attend the Edson Biddle Soccer Pro Camp July 24 at Littleton Public Schools Stadium.

Procamps from Cincinnati has managed and operated sports camps and events since 1998 for professional athletes in the National Basketball Association, National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, PGA, and Major League Soccer.

The U.S. Army was a partner in the Biddle camp that had 200 youngsters registered. Coaches and players from area soccer clubs and high schools helped coach the campers.

“I came into the Major League Soccer in 2001 and soccer has progressed every year,” said the 36-year-old Mullan. “These camps help out to get people interested that wouldn’t normally be interested.

“Now there are more knowledgeable coaches around and soccer is becoming more of a viable option.”

Mullan, who played for Regis Jesuit, Creighton, four MLS teams and has been part of five MLS Cup teams, wanted to make sure the campers had fun.

“You had kids of various skill levels,” he said. “So the main thing you wanted to do is make them have fun and work on the skills you could get them to achieve. The key was you wanted them to have fun.”

The U.S. Army was on hand to promote fitness.

“It was all about the promotion of fitness for the upcoming generation,” said Sgt. Bridget Pena. “As the United States Army, we like to give back to our community and promote fitness.”

Only three out of 10 Americans are fit enough to qualify for military duty, she said.