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MLS WORKS and ESPN to Host 4th Annual Special Olympics
Unified Sports All-Star Soccer Match
Special Olympics Unified Sports soccer players to compete in East vs. West All-Star match at Toyota Park as part of MLS All-Star week
NEW YORK (July 24, 2017) MLS WORKS and ESPN today announced the full rosters for the 2017 Special Olympics Unified Sports All-Star soccer match. The match takes place on Tuesday, August 1 at Toyota Park, home of the Chicago Fire, at 4:45 p.m. CT, one day before the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target.
For the fourth year in a row, MLS WORKS and ESPN will host 44 delegates as part of the Special Olympics Unified Sports All-Star Experience, which this year will feature participants representing all 22 MLS clubs. The Unified Sports All-Star soccer teams are comprised of players with and without intellectual disabilities, and will play an 11 v. 11 match consisting of two 25-minute halves. The team uniforms for the game will be provided by adidas. The teams will take the pitch in an East vs. West matchup prior to the fourth annual MLS Homegrown Game presented by Energizer® on Tuesday, August 1 at 7:00 p.m. CT at Toyota Park.
Tickets for both matches are available now by CLICKING HERE. Gates will open to the public at 2:00 p.m. CT. The Unified match will be streamed live on MLSsoccer.com, MLS’ Facebook page and MLS’ YouTube page.
Player rosters can be found by CLICKING HERE.
ExtraTime Radio hosts David Gass and Andrew Wiebe will provide play-by-play analysis and color commentary on the live stream. MLSsoccer.com personalities, Calen Carr and Susannah Collins, will serve as sideline reporters, interviewing players and coaches throughout the match. Chicago Fire players will serve as celebrity coaches for both teams, as well as present the Unified athletes with medals following the game.
The game will showcase the Special Olympics Unified Sports exchange program, the cornerstone of the ongoing partnership between MLS, ESPN and Special Olympics North America. Through the Unified Sports soccer exchange program, Unified teams from MLS cities travel to other MLS markets to compete in exhibition matches with their Special Olympics counterparts. Unified matches are scheduled in conjunction with MLS club matches, providing MLS fans with an opportunity to witness first-hand the talents and abilities of Special Olympics athletes. Supporting the matches is ESPN, media partner to both MLS and Special Olympics International and the Global Presenting Sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports.
The match is part of the one-year countdown to Special Olympics’ 50th anniversary celebration which will take place in Chicago July 17-22, 2018. Included in next year’s events will be the first ever Unified Football (Soccer) Cup which will showcase 24 Unified teams from around the world.
The best in MLS will face Spanish giants Real Madrid, the newly minted back-to-back reigning UEFA Champions League winners, in the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target on August 2 at Soldier Field in Chicago. The summer showcase will air at 8:30 p.m. ET on FS1, Univision, TSN and TVA Sports domestically as well as more than 170 countries globally.
Tickets to the 2017 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target are available via Ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000. Click here for more information about the Chicago Fire All-Star Plan and All-Star Group 2-Pack or call the Fire at (888) MLS-FIRE.
CLICK HERE for the 2017 AT&T MLS All-Star week media schedule.
About MLS WORKS
MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, is dedicated to addressing important social issues and serves as a platform for both League and club philanthropic programs. MLS WORKS seeks to establish Major League Soccer as a leader for improving the lives of people through sport. MLS WORKS has helped to improve the communities where we live and play our games by executing programs and campaigns that focus on anti-discrimination , community service, environmental sustainability, cancer research and treatment, , and accessibility to soccer. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @MLSWORKS.
About MLS WORKS
Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. We empower people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 5.7 million athletes in nearly 172 countries. With the support of more than 1.2 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and more than 108,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org. Engage with us on: Twitter@specialolympics, fb.com/specialolympics, youtube.com/specialolympicshq, instagram.com/specialolympics
About ESPN and Special Olympics
ESPN is proud of its relationship with the Special Olympics, which spans more than 30 years. It is the global media partner for the 2017 Special Olympics World Games, the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games and the 2019 Special Olympics World Games, and previously provided multi-platform coverage of Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles (LA2015) as well as coverage of the 2011 World Games in Athens on ESPN3. Since 2013, ESPN has been the Global Presenting Sponsor and Official Media Sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports, which bring athletes with and without intellectual disabilities together as teammates.