A group of young adults got the thrill of a lifetime on Saturday afternoon, getting the chance to step between the lines at Red Bull Arena.
The New York Red Bulls Unified Team, teaming up with Special Olympics New Jersey, faced off against their counterparts from FC Dallas just prior to the two MLS teams' meeting. The two Unified teams played to a 1-1 draw, with both goals coming in the second half. The match was part of the Unified Exchange Program, a program that promotes social inclusion through sports and is now in its fifth year.
"It was pretty cool, new team, new feeling," Adithya Sridhar, who scored for the Red Bulls, told the Daily Record. "Everyone comes from different parts of the state. Everyone's different ages. But everyone's got to come together. Playing for the Red Bulls Unified team is a huge incentive. Everybody wants to come together to play."
The day prior to the match, the two teams got to visit the top of One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere:
The Red Bulls players, many of whom played together in New Jersey already, signed contracts with the Red Bulls at their training facility in May, and had a handful of training sessions together. They will host D.C. United on Aug. 26.