RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. (KTXL) – Ahead of Saturday’s historic match that brings the Sacramento Republic FC back to Hughes Stadium to honor the 10-year anniversary of the club’s first match back in 2014, two of the team’s biggest stars spent some free time on Wednesday night, passing on some of their knowledge to athletes from Special Olympics.

Republic FC forwards Luther Archimede and Russell Cicerone dropped by the practice at Le Five Indoor Soccer in Rancho Cordova, to assist the Republic’s Special Olympics Unified team prepare for their upcoming scrimmage in October against a similar team from the San Jose Earthquakes. 

Every week, the Unified team, which was formed in July, comes together to practice promoting social inclusion through the game of soccer. Archimede and Cicerone joined in on the fun this week, assisting the athletes in drills and passing along some of their own knowledge about the game.

“That was amazing I’m not going to lie,” Archimede told FOX40. “Seeing that soccer is way bigger than what we think is amazing. Those guys are just amazing. Smiling, doing their best, sweating, running, tackling (and) shooting. I had a blast today and honestly, I’m really grateful for that.” 

The Unified teams are composed of athletes with and without intellectual disabilities to promote inclusion in sports. Special Olympics aims for the same goal through shared sports training and competition experiences in hopes of finding a path to friendship and understanding. 

“We’re here having a lot of fun, but also getting a little bit better at soccer,” Cicerone said. “I saw a lot of hard working, talented individuals that really impressed me with their style of play and their wanting to grow in the game; I just had a blast today.” 

Both players said they plan on attending October’s match and they will make sure to make follow-up trips to future practices leading up to the game against San Jose.