What is the Audi Goals Drive Progress program?
A league-wide joint initiative, established in 2019, between Audi and MLS to help progress the game of soccer across the United States and Canada.
Since 2019, the Audi Goals Drive Progress program has helped develop future generations of professional soccer players through housing, educational, and transportation support. For every goal scored during the MLS season, Audi contributes directly into the Audi Goals Drive Progress Fund to support each MLS Club Youth Academy.
In a new program development starting in 2023, the Audi Goals Drive Progress program will continue to support player development on the pitch, via MLS Academies, but also bring impact off the pitch by financially supporting and spotlighting MLS Players’ community initiatives.
In total, Audi will contribute up to $1 million per season through the Audi Goals Drive Progress fund between both initiatives of the Audi Goals Drive Progress program.
Who benefits from this program?
All MLS Club Youth Academies and their players throughout the league receive financial support through the Audi Goals Drive Progress fund for housing, educational, and transportation programming. The overall per-goal financial contribution is equally distributed among all MLS Club Youth Academies.
Starting in 2023, select MLS Players that demonstrate excellence in driving progress in their communities and have on-going relationships with 501c3 organizations, will receive financial contributions to support their charitable efforts and social impact work.
What is the MLS Academy system and what are their initiatives?
MLS Academies are the highest-level Youth Soccer Programs in North America. In 2007, MLS mandated that all its Clubs operate youth academy programs to give talented players with professional aspirations the best opportunity to realize their full potential and become an MLS NEXT Pro and/or MLS Homegrown player.
Since 2020, the teams have participated in MLS NEXT, a new paradigm for player development launched to transform youth soccer in North America. Founded on a collaborative approach to governance and a commitment to innovation, MLS NEXT players have access to the highest level of competition, training and personal development opportunities that will prepare them for their futures, both in soccer and in life. For more information about MLS NEXT, visit www.mlssoccer.com/mlsnext
Why did Audi create this program?
As MLS continues to expand, the Academy system has been identified as the key pillar of growth in order to strengthen the sport of soccer in North America. This is a league-wide objective across all clubs based on the need for resources to support the education and growth of youth soccer players. Audi wants to be part of this journey to the top and ensure its success. For every goal scored during the MLS season, Audi will contribute funds to one of the most important catalysts for building on-field talent in the league – the MLS Academy system.
In an effort to impact the progress made by players both on and off the pitch, the program has expanded to support MLS Player led community initiatives across the United States and Canada. The program will highlight the best of MLS Players’ commitment to philanthropy and contribute funds to help their on-going relationships with 501c3 organizations in their communities.
How is Audi contributing?
MLS Club Youth Academies: For every goal scored in the regular season, Audi will contribute $200 into the Audi Goals Drive Progress Fund. During the MLS All-Star game, Audi will contribute $1,000 per goal scored. During the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, for every goal scored, Audi will contribute $2,000 into the Goals Drive Progress Fund.
Finally, during MLS Cup Audi will contribute $10,000 for every goal scored in the game. Once the season is over the total money contributed into the Audi Goals Drive Progress Fund will be equally distributed among all MLS clubs.
There will be one additional opportunity for MLS Club Youth Academies to receive further funds. As the official sponsor of the MLS Golden Boot presented by Audi, Audi will contribute additional funds to the Golden Boot winner’s Club’s academy – $25,000.
MLS Players’ Community Initiatives: Throughout the MLS Regular Season, Audi will work with MLS Content Partners to bring selected players’ stories to life and highlight their commitment to philanthropy. A $20,000 contribution from the Audi Goals Drive Progress fund will be awarded to the player(s) and provided to their 501c3 organization(s).
The winner of the Audi Goals Drive Progress Impact Award presented by MLS WORKS will be chosen as part of the MLS League Awards by an esteemed panel and receive a $100,000 contribution to be provided to his 501c3 organization. The winner will be honored during a trophy award presentation at MLS Cup presented by Audi.
How will the Audi Goals Drive Progress funds be used towards MLS Club Youth Academies?
In the overall effort to increase the level of competition in MLS and support the continued development of the best soccer talent in the world, the funds will be used by MLS Club Youth Academies on needs based in the following categories:
- Education (technology, space, tutoring, etc.)
- Housing (dorms, host families, meal plans, etc.)
- Transportation (Travel stipends, etc.)
What is the Audi Goals Drive Progress Impact Award presented by MLS WORKS?
The newly named Audi Goals Drive Progress Impact Award presented by MLS WORKS reimagines the MLS Humanitarian of the Year Award, highlights the best of MLS Players’ commitment to philanthropy, and helps to fund their on-going relationships with 501c3’s in their communities.
What has been changed?
MLS players making a significant impact in their communities off the pitch will be highlighted through a content series during the MLS Regular Season with MLS Content Partners to raise awareness of this new initiative and generate excitement around the year-end award. A $20,000 contribution from the Audi Goals Drive Progress fund will be awarded to the player and provided to his 501c3 organization.
At the end of the year, one winner will be chosen as part of the MLS League Awards by an esteemed panel consisting of his peers, members of the media, front office staff and Audi representatives. The MLS Player will receive a contribution of $100,000 to provide his 501c3 organization and be honored during a trophy award presentation at MLS Cup presented by Audi.
How are the players chosen for the MLS Partner content series?
This campaign recognizes MLS Players demonstrating excellence in driving progress in their communities. Audi and MLS content partners will consider candidates whose dedication to charitable efforts and social impact work creates sustainable communities, fosters equity and inclusion, and enriches the lives of those in need across the U.S. and Canada.