SACRAMENTO, California — While eyes may be focused on the pitch for the Sac Republic FC game against Las Vegas Lights FC, some of the stars are in the bleachers.

John Almeda has non-verbal autism and finished the Boston Marathon this year. He's being honored as co-captain of the game.

"We're all together to celebrate autism and our differences. And even though our kids have different abilities, they each have gifts and love to go out together as a community," said Vanessa Bieker, his mother.

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It's a special night, not only for their family but also for those who have family members with special needs.

Sac Republic FC held a sensory-friendly night with a tent away from the crowds with counselors available and bleachers away from a lot of the crowds cheering.

"I'm so glad they have the space for children with special needs sometimes loud noises and music and stuff can get them on edge cause I know with her loud noises get to her," said Gabriella Gutierrez who went there with her daughter, Drea.

Sac Republic FC said they plan to create sensory-friendly bags filled with items for parents to have if they need it during the game.

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