New York's Mehdi Ballouchy at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Ann Margaret Hedges, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

MLS W.O.R.K.S. launches Soccer Kicks Cancer campaign

NEW YORK – MLS W.O.R.K.S., Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, announced on Thursday the official launch of Soccer Kicks Cancer, a league-wide campaign focused on raising awareness and funds for cancer research and treatment and providing strength and hope in the fight against cancer affecting men, women and children. The three-month campaign will highlight efforts being conducted throughout the League by our clubs, players, fans and corporate partners, while promoting the tremendous work of our charitable partners affiliated with the cause.
As part of Soccer Kicks Cancer, and during childhood cancer awareness month in September, MLS W.O.R.K.S. and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® will promote Goals for St. Jude, a program created to introduce MLS fans to the mission of St. Jude, invite them to join the team and encourage the soccer community to support the hospital as they strive to find cures and save children from cancer and other deadly diseases.  

Ambassadors for the Goals for St. Jude program, Mehdi Ballouchy (New York Red Bulls, pictured above at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital), Jason Hernandez (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Lahoud (Chivas USA) and Logan Pause (Chicago Fire) visited St. Jude earlier this season and will help MLS W.O.R.K.S. to raise awareness and funds during in-stadium nights and through social media campaigns. Ambassadors will also be featured in a 30-second public service announcement that will be aired in-stadium, on broadcasts and on MLS W.O.R.K.S. and MLS clubs also work closely to support Starlight Children’s Foundation and the Make-A-Wish Foundation throughout the season.

Soccer Kicks Cancer will continue through the end of the MLS regular season with a League-wide breast cancer awareness campaign. During the month of October, a special edition pink adidas Jabulani match ball will be used during select matches in all 18 markets, game-worn memorabilia will be available for auction to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and additional promotions will be conducted to raise awareness for the cause by corporate partners and by clubs in individual markets.

“Major League Soccer, our players, clubs and fans are proud to once again join the fight against cancer and to help raise awareness and funds for cancer research and treatment,” said JoAnn Neale, executive vice president, MLS. “Cancer is a disease that affects nearly everybody associated with the global sport of soccer in one way or another, whether it is a family member or a close friend. We look forward to working with all of our clubs during the final three months of the 2011 MLS season to contribute towards this worthy cause.”

The three-month campaign will culminate during the MLS Cup 2011 playoffs in November, when Soccer Kicks Cancer will support and participate in Movember, the moustache growing charity event that raises awareness and funds for men’s health, specifically cancers affecting men. MLS players and staff will support the movement by growing moustaches during the playoffs. Via the moustache, Movember aims to fulfill its vision of having an everlasting impact on the face of men’s health by continuing to spark conversation and spread awareness of men’s health issues each year. Additional game-worn, autographed memorabilia will be available for auction following the campaign.


MLS W.O.R.K.S. is Major League Soccer's community outreach initiative dedicated to addressing important social issues affecting young people and serves as a platform for both League and club philanthropic programs.  MLS W.O.R.K.S. seeks to establish Major League Soccer as a leader for improving the lives of people through sport. For more information visit the website at


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