Seahawks, Sounders visit mudslide community

DARRINGTON, Wash. (AP) A dozen Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders FC athletes have paid a visit to a community center close to the fatal Washington mudslide.

They were met by more than 300 area residents on Monday. The players signed autographs, tossed footballs and kicked soccer balls in an effort to bring some smiles to an area hit by tragedy.

Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith signed autographs and posed for photos, saying, "To be able to offer a little bit of a release or a distraction from what's going on, I mean that's all you can do."

Sounders forward Kenny Cooper told reporters that he played pickup soccer with the kids.

One child, 10-year-old Jacob Spelman, wore an autographed bright green hat commemorating the Seahawks' Super Bowl victory as he spoke, telling reporters, "I just feel like they care and that they would like it if we felt better."

At least 24 people were killed in the mudslide that hit the rural community of Oso northeast of Seattle on March 22.