Matt Lampson - Chicago Fire - Humanitarian of the Year
Rudy Calderon/MLSsoccer.com

Chicago Fire GK Matt Lampson named MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year

Major League Soccer on Wednesday named Chicago Fire goalkeeper Matt Lampson the 2016 MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year, presented by Advocare.

A cancer survivor, the 27-year-old Lampson was honored for his work with young cancer patients and their families through The LampStrong Foundation.

Lampson was diagnosed with Stage 4B Hodgkin’s lymphoma while a senior in high school. After more than a year of treatment, he was declared cancer-free and resumed his soccer career, eventually signing with Columbus Crew SC as a Homegrown Player in 2012 after splitting his college years between Northern Illinois and Ohio State.

He created The LampStrong Foundation in 2014 to provide difference-making financial, emotional and motivational support for young cancer patients and their families. The foundation has raised more than $30,000 to date, with Lampson working to positively influence the lives of cancer patients and survivors.  

Now nine years cancer-free and in his first season with Chicago, Lampson expanded his Hero Program to his new city this year, hosting patients and survivors at Fire home and away matches to help patients and their families find a break from the emotional grind of cancer treatment and their effects.

Lampson made 11 regular-season appearances in his first season with the Fire, allowing 18 goals, registering three shutouts, posting a 1-6-4 record and setting a club record with a 412-minute shutout streak from March 11 to April 16. He won the Humanitarian of the Year vote ahead of New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles and LA Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes.

In recognition of Lampson’s work, MLS WORKS will donate $5,000 to the charity of his choice.

MLS teams had an opportunity to nominate candidates for the Humanitarian of the Year award (view all nominees), which was voted on by club officials, media and MLS players. Below is a breakdown of the voting for the three finalists:  

  Player Vote Media Vote Club Vote Average
Matt Lampson (CHI) 8.51% 21.78% 13.33% 14.54%
Luis Robles (NY) 6.38% 10.89% 8.00% 8.42%
Gyasi Zardes (LA) 9.22% 6.93% 8.00% 8.05%

MLS Humanitarian of the Year Winners:

  • 2016: Matt Lampson (Chicago Fire)
  • 2015: Kei Kamara (Columbus Crew SC)
  • 2014: AJ DeLaGarza (LA Galaxy)
  • 2013: Matt Reis (New England Revolution)
  • 2012: Chris Seitz (FC Dallas)
  • 2011: Zak Boggs (New England Revolution)
  • 2010: Seth Stammler (New York Red Bulls)
  • 2009: Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards); Logan Pause (Chicago Fire)
  • 2008: Jose Burciaga Jr. (Colorado Rapids)
  • 2007: Diego Gutierrez (Chicago Fire)
  • 2006: Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution)
  • 2005: Brian Kamler (Real Salt Lake)
  • 2004: Chris Henderson (Colorado Rapids)
  • 2003: Ben Olsen (D.C. United)
  • 2002: Steve Jolley (MetroStars)
  • 2001: Tim Howard (MetroStars)
  • 2000: Abdul Thompson Conteh (San Jose Earthquakes)

More MLS WORKS news