Forward Rincón takes on leadership role in community
Sebastián Rincón arrived in Portland for the 2012 MLS season on loan from Uruguyan first division side Club Atlético Atenas in February. The talented, young forward settled quickly in the Rose City; so quick in fact, that he has already taken on a leading role in community outreach for the Timbers, through both the Stand Together and Somos Timbers platforms.
To date, Rincón has visited students at three Portland area schools, including Cornelius and Arco Iris Elementary, to help promote the importance of responsibility, demonstrating his considerable soccer skills and engaging students in English and Spanish. He also attended Portland Parks & Recreation’s recent Latino Day, visiting with over 150 local families.
“I really like seeing the smiles on the kid’s faces when I visit,” said Rincón. “It’s good to teach them responsibility and to show them how to take care of themselves and share what it’s like to be a professional soccer player.”
And it’s not only the kids who benefit from the visits, but Rincón himself.
“Visiting the schools has helped me settle in Portland a bit because I like learning about different cultures and getting to know people who follow the team. Going to the schools has helped me learn about the culture here, so I get something out of it, too.”
Possessing a maturity beyond his 18 years, Rincón plans to continue playing an active role in the Timbers’ community initiatives, including visiting local schools, because of a similar visit he received as a youth.
“Hugo Rodallega who plays in the [English Premier League] visited my school when I was a kid to do the same things I am now, and I think that’s a cool way to interact with the community,” he said. “As a player, it’s important to be available and represent the club like that.”