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MLS CLASSICS: REMIX: Inaugural Game, 1996 – This Week in MLS

TODAY @ 4 p.m. ET – MLS CLASSICS: REMIX: Inaugural Game, 1996
This Monday marks the anniversary of that inaugural game and MLS will look back at the first game, and the historic first goal, by hosting a special MLS Classics: Remix production of the game. 

Beginning at 4 p.m. ET, MLS YouTube, MLS Twitter and MLS Facebook accounts will air an enhanced global broadcast experience that will see MLS Greats Eric Wynalda and Jeff Agoos, as well as current D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, join MLSsoccer.com’s David Gass to provide unique insights and anecdotes about that unforgettable day.
 
@MLSin96 Launches:  #MLSin96 to Unite Fans Around Earliest MLS Memories
Today, in addition to www.MLSsoccer.com getting a 1996 retro redesign, MLS is bringing it back to 1996 with posts and pictures from @MLSin96 on Instagram. Fans, media, players, and coaches can share their earliest memories of MLS by using #MLSin96 on any social media platform. 
 
Quote Sheet
Former San Jose Clash forward Eric Wynalda, former D.C. United head coach Bruce Arena, and former D.C. United defender Jeff Agoos discuss the inaugural game and the launch of MLS.
 
CLICK HERE for the transcript.
 
Spotted – Chris Wondolowski at the Inaugural Game
MLS all-time leading goalscorer San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski attended the inaugural game at Spartan Stadium as a 13-year-old fan.
 
A View from the Press Box
For those of us who were involved in soccer in the 1970s and 1980s, it was a long wait between the end of the NASL and start of MLS. Twelve years. It was also about a two-year wait from the end of the 1994 World Cup until MLS’s launch. What people don’t remember is that MLS was not always a sure thing. In the months after the ’94 World Cup, there were concerns that there wouldn’t be enough investors to get the league off the ground. Before the San Jose-D.C. United game, they paraded one player from each of the 10 teams out on the field. And when they introduced Tampa Bay and Carlos Valderrama, I started crying. I’ll cry often, but never when it comes to soccer or work. It hit me that this new league had not only arrived, but it attracted some big stars of the day, like El Pibe. – Paul Kennedy, Soccer America
 
**Note: The opening game in 1996 coincided with Soccer America’s 25th anniversary, founded in 1971.  This month marks the outlet’s 50th year. 
 
ESPN2 MLS Classic Match Marathon
Following the inaugural match broadcast on MLS YouTube, MLS Twitter and MLS Facebook platforms, the MLS action will shift to ESPN2, where a four-match marathon of classic MLS games will be showcased beginning at 6 p.m. ET.
CLICK HERE for more information.
 
 
MLS Unites for Fitness and Wellness
As part of MLS Unites, a league-wide platform connecting our MLS community during this unprecedented time, the League will unveil a series of themed programs involving clubs, players, coaches, staff, partners and fans. The first set of content will be released on April 7-10 as MLS Unites for Fitness and Wellness. Featuring a variety of tips, videos and exercises, fans are encouraged to follow @MLS and use hashtag #MLSUnites for fun ways to stay active and healthy at home during these challenging times. More information on MLS Unites programming will be unveiled at a later date.
 
 
Around the League
 
  • The Los Angeles Football Club and FC Dallas hosted a FIFA 20 eMLS Charity Challenge on Sunday, with fans tuning in to the stream on Twitch. LAFC eMLS player RemiMartinn took on FC Dallas player i9ibbs in the faceoff to raise money for relief against COVID-19. This is the second consecutive week LAFC has hosted a charity eMLS match, last week teaming with rival LA Galaxy in the LA Charity FIFA Challenge.
 
  • The New York Red Bulls are keeping young soccer players active with weekly challenges to practice while at home. The club provided age-specific tricks for players at the U-12, U-15 and U-17 levels can practice to better improve their touch and keep their skills sharp.
 
  • With employees around the country working from home, MLS clubs are doing their part to keep fans engaged with backgrounds to use while using video conference services. Seattle Sounders FC, Minnesota United FC, and FC Cincinnati are among the clubs who have promoted their own video conference background pictures directly to fans.
 
  • The Philadelphia Union are keeping young fans engaged by hosting video chats between players and fans. Just last week, Mark McKenzie, Jack Elliott and Ray Gaddis all hopped online to share fun stories and get to know some of their most passionate young fans a bit better.
 
  • San Jose Earthquakes U-19 academy player Kayleen Gowers has spent every morning helping to deliver groceries to those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kayleen and a fellow Los Altos High School classmate have used the app NextDoor to find members of the community who cannot shop on their own, meeting at 8am every day to purchase items at the grocery store and deliver directly to people’s homes.
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