Memphis Tigers Soccer Team Honors Girl with Cancer

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(Memphis) Along with the team at St. Jude Children's Hospital, a 9-year-old girl fighting skin cancer has another team behind her.

It’s extremely rare for a nine-year old to get melanoma, but she's been fighting like a champ.

Friday night, the University of Memphis men's soccer team will take to the field in honor of Alyssa de Jong. 

For a girl who grew up as the daughter of a soccer coach, the answer to her favorite sport should be obvious.

“Golf,” said Alyssa as her mother laughed.

That’s what the 4th grader, who’s battling stage 3-A skin cancer, likes to play, but she loves watching soccer.

Friday night, Alyssa will look on as the Memphis Tigers Play for her.

“They have A's on their shirt,” she said.

The “A” on the Tiger's jerseys stands for Alyssa.

The men's soccer team is showing their support for the young girl who has endured multiple surgeries since May to fight cancer.

The head coach had the idea.

“He thought about it and said what about putting an “A” on the jerseys to show that is our little angel and we're thinking about her and we're playing the game for her,” said Angela de Jong, Alyssa’s mother.

She hopes the televised game will shed light to the dangers of sun damage, “Sunblock everything, your face, your hands, your arms, I mean, wear sunblock all the time.”

Showing awareness for her little girl's fight has de Jong hoping the Memphis Tigers will play their hearts out.

“A win tonight would be everything,” said de Jong. “Home field advantage, big crowd out there playing for Alyssa, playing for skin cancer, playing for St. Jude, a conference game, get us into the tournament. It would be huge.”

The game will be played Friday Night at 7:00p at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex. It can also be watched live on TV on the Fox Soccer Channel.