In observance of the 20-year mark since the tragedy in the United States on September 11, 2001, Major League Soccer and its clubs have come together to conduct acts of service to positively impact our communities and remember those lost in the attacks.
There will be three special elements of the pre-match presentation at all MLS games played in the US this weekend. All team jerseys will feature a 20th remembrance patch, modeled on the one worn by clubs when MLS returned to action after the terrorist attacks in 2001. There will also be a moment of silence before each game, and the American flag will be displayed on the field ahead of the player procession and remain on the field until the end of the National Anthem.
As part of the efforts to reflect on this solemn day, MLS has made a donation and is recognizing September 11 as a National Day of Remembrance and Service. MLS is supporting 9/11 Day by organizing special volunteer service projects to combat hunger at an especially critical time as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Volunteers will help pack dry, non-perishable meals to be donated to local Feeding America-affiliated food banks. MLS fans are also encouraged to join #MLSWeekofService by performing acts of service and sharing their good deeds on social media.
To ensure that future generations understand the impact of 9/11, MLS is also encouraging the entire soccer community to visit Neverforget.org to post a tribute on the 9/11 Memorial & Museum’s Remembrance Wall, donate to the Never Forget Fund, and participate in “Remember the Sky” by using #NeverForget911 and posting pictures of the sky in honor of the clear blue sky from Sept. 11, 2001.
In addition, MLS clubs have created their own local initiatives to recognize the 20th anniversary. Some examples include:
- The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has committed $25,000 on behalf of Atlanta United and the Blank Family of Businesses in support of 9/11 Day and has provided associates the opportunity to volunteer at Saturday’s 9/11 Day event held in Atlanta. During halftime of Friday’s home match vs. Orlando City, Atlanta United and the Home Depot Foundation will recognize United States Army veteran Garrett Cathcart as the 2021 Atlanta United Hometown Hero. Garrett proudly served our nation for nine years including two tours in Afghanistan in response to the attacks on September 11.
- In Colorado, beginning at 8:46 a.m. on the day of the match between the Rapids and LA Galaxy, members of the local Brighton Fire Department are running the stairs inside Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. They will run the equivalent of 110 stories to honor the first responders 20 years ago.
- Seattle Sounders FC is hosting over 600 local firefighters and their families at their match on September 11 against Minnesota United, with partner Starbucks providing a gift card to each. The National Anthem will be sung by a local firefighter as more than 50 firefighters hold the American flag on the pitch during the opening ceremony. Sounders FC’s pre-match “Scarves Up” moment will be performed by another local firefighter who was inspired to change careers, pivoting from a career in physical therapy and putting all his efforts into becoming a Seattle firefighter after the events of 9/11.
- The New England Revolution will auction the special jerseys worn by the club in their match on September 11 against NYCFC to benefit 9/11-related charities. When the club presents a large American flag on the field during the National Anthem before the game on Saturday, it will be unfurled by members of USO New England, the Wounded Warrior Project, and Tuesday’s Children. Also, in partnership with the environmental organization One Tree Planted, the Revolution will have a Memorial Tree Planting ceremony ahead of the match at Gillette Stadium.
- On Friday, Sept. 10, members of the New York Red Bulls front office will serve lunch to the Harrison Police Department and Fire Department as a thank you for their service to the community. The Red Bulls will auction off the club’s Special Edition kits, commemorative T-shirts and captain’s armband worn during their September 11 match against D.C. United at Red Bull Arena, with proceeds going to Answer the Call.
- At the end of the National Anthem at Sporting Kansas City’s home match against Chicago Fire FC on September 11, there will be a flyover from the 303rd Fighter Squadron at Whiteman Air Force Base.
- Real Salt Lake is sponsoring the “Light the Night” event at the 9/11 Healing Field Memorial. The club will help fill bags with tea candles and sand needed to light the 3,000 flags representing a life lost on 9/11.