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“I remember one of the first times he met the people here in Columbus, and he had his heroes after the game, he came home and goes, ‘Gosh, the moms were crying,’ ” Mecy Lampson said. “And I said, ‘Matt, you don’t understand. You give them such hope.’ ”

Lampson, though, can’t quite see himself that way. In fact, he uses deadpan sarcasm to deter people from finding his kind side.

“It took me a good two, three, four months where I was like, ‘Man, do I like this guy?’ ” said Ethan Finlay, a teammate at Columbus and United. “His humor’s a little bit different, but once you kind of break down, you peel back the onion, Matt’s a really good guy.”

First impressions of Lampson don’t usually match up with the selfless person he is. That is, unless he’s meeting a young cancer patient.

“I’m not truly a cynical person,” Lampson said. “I’m a big teddy bear.

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