NEW YORK - The American soccer community is joining together to raise funds to support the victims of one of the most devastating natural disasters in our nation's history. Major League Soccer players, as well as members of the U.S. National Team and Mexican National Team, are contributing autographed game-worn jerseys that will be auctioned to raise funds for the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
Players competing in the U.S. vs. Mexico World Cup qualifier in Columbus, Ohio on September 3 and all MLS games on September 3 and 4 will sign the jerseys and donate them for the relief efforts. These jerseys will be auctioned online via www.MLSnet.com with 100 percent of the proceeds going to programs that support the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
"The hearts of entire soccer community go out to those affected by this devastating tragedy," MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. "The MLS family is committed to supporting the relief efforts, and we hope this program further encourages the millions of soccer fans in this country to contribute to helping the victims of Hurricane Katrina."
The program has the full support of Major League Soccer, U.S. Soccer, Federación Mexicana de Fútbol, the MLS Players Union and the U.S. National Soccer Team Players Association. In addition, the U.S. Soccer Foundation and Eurosport are supporting the program.
"As the scope of the tragedy along the Gulf Coast becomes more and more clear, it is important to reach out within the U.S. Soccer community to do everything we can to assist the relief efforts currently underway," said U.S. Soccer President Dr. S. Robert Contiguglia. "At times like these, the importance of uniting as a community takes precedence and we will do everything we can to support those in need."
In addition to the online jersey auction, some of Major League Soccer's clubs will conduct in-stadium programs such as collection drives and auctions of products and services at this weekend's games. MLS players are donating their time and money through a variety of programs to assist with the relief efforts.
"The thoughts and prayers of all MLS players are with all of the people in the Gulf Coast who have been affected by this great tragedy," said MLS Players Union Executive Director Bob Foose. "By giving the shirts off their backs, MLS players hope in some small way to provide assistance to those in need as they face the challenges that lie ahead."
Soccer fans will be able to start placing bids on select players' jerseys beginning Saturday, September 3 by going to www.MLSnet.com.