The 7-year-old daughter of New York Red Bulls general manager Marc de Grandpre inspired the team to hold an Autism Awareness Night on Friday, according to NBC New York.
Julia de Grandpre, who has autism, is a big fan of the team, even thinking captain Dax McCarty is a member of the boy band One Direction. She calls the team "her boys" and together they've built a closer relationship.
"She's a pretty special little girl," said McCarty. "Her attitude is infectious."
Julia attends Red Bulls games, but as NBC New York explains, the noise level in the arena can make an autistic child uncomfortable. She wears noise-reducing headphones but sometimes has to go to a quiet area if things get to be too much.
At Autism Awareness Night, the team will dedicate a special section of the arena for those who have autism, including quieter "safe zones" where they can go if needed. The game day staff will also work to soften the music that plays through the arena.
The night will be held on Friday, when the Red Bulls host the San Jose Earthquakes.
- Molly Geary