MLS W.O.R.K.S. to give back to LA youth ahead of MLS Cup

NEW YORK (Tuesday, November 15, 2011) – MLS W.O.R.K.S., Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, will put on multiple events leading up to the League’s championship match in an effort to highlight the League’s commitment to increasing the accessibility of soccer, creating sustainable projects,  and supporting local youth health and wellness programs. MLS Cup 2011 will be played on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 9:00 p.m. ET at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA (ESPN, Galavision, TSN2).

On Wednesday, November 16, as part of the MLS Cup trophy tour, MLS W.O.R.K.S. will partner with Starlight Children’s Foundation and visit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles for the placement of two Starlight Fun Center™ mobile entertainment units. This visit will also provide a unique opportunity for seriously ill children and their families to experience some cheer and uplifting during their hospital stay. Former Galaxy stars and MLS Cup winners Cobi Jones and Chris Klein will be joined by LA Galaxy mascot Cozmo to play games and participate in activities with the kids prior to the dedication ceremony. Patients will have a special opportunity to get autographs and take pictures with the Philip F. Anschutz championship trophy. A select number of tickets to Sunday’s match will be provided for Starlight families.

MLS W.O.R.K.S. and League partner The Home Depot, will join forces on Thursday, November 17, to refurbish parts of Veterans Park in Carson, CA. MLS players, including award winners, members of the 2011 MLS Best XI, and executives will join associates from The Home Depot and local volunteers to provide a clean, safe area for local youth and members of the community to gather. Volunteers will spend the day painting, cleaning and planting trees while LA Galaxy Camps coaches conduct a clinic for approximately 75 local children. The refurbishment is part of The Home Depot’s ongoing commitment to give back to the communities it serves and the League’s community service program, Unite. Volunteer. Serve., a collaborative effort to combine sport and service, promote good will and improve lives and communities at the grassroots level.

On Friday, November 18, MLS W.O.R.K.S. and the LA Galaxy will team up with the National Education Association (NEA) during American Education Week to beautify the Catskill Avenue Elementary School Library. Serving children pre-kindergarten through fifth grade, Catskill Avenue Elementary is the only library available for use by local community members and students. An updated, soccer-themed library, and development of year-long soccer programming, will provide a friendly environment for students, teachers and parents to read, learn and play soccer as part of living a healthy lifestyle. Members of the 2011 MLS Best XI and MLS and Galaxy executives will participate in the day’s events, while LA Galaxy Camps coaches conduct a soccer clinic for 100 fifth graders.

MLS W.O.R.K.S. will also support CanchaFest, a soccer celebration at Bell Gardens Sports Complex on November 19. To kick-off the Bell Gardens field renovation project, fans are invited to visit the complex to see special guests including Chicago Fire midfielder Pavel Pardo and other MLS players, participate in raffles and giveaways, have an opportunity to view the Philip F. Anschutz championship trophy, watch the 6v6 celebrity/media games and much more.

Working in conjunction with Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), MLS W.O.R.K.S. and Continental Tire have combined efforts to help MLS clubs, fans and communities reduce their carbon footprint. Verified Carbon Offsets and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) have been purchased from BEF to offset fan travel and stadium operations for the championship match. MLS and Continental Tire are also committed to educating the next generation of energy users and will participate in BEF’s Solar 4R Schools project. Solar panels will be installed at a local school in the city of the MLS Cup champion by Earth Day 2012.