MLS Unites - 2020 - logo image WITH the hashtag

MLS Unites: For Those in Need – This Week in MLS

MLS Unites: For Those in Need
As part of MLS Unites, a league-wide platform designed to educate communities, entertain fans and elevate heroic efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, the league unveiled a week-long series of programming that highlights the efforts the soccer community is doing to help those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. During this challenging period, MLS remains focused on making a positive impact in the communities where we live and play our games. Aiming to rally and inspire the soccer world, MLS Unites programming this week focuses on how clubs, players, coaches, staff, partners and fans giving back to local communities during this unprecedented time. CLICK HERE for more information about specific Club activations.
 
Club Examples:
  • Atlanta United – Atlanta United announced its ‘United We Conquer’ initiative which serves as a platform for the club to give back to the community, acknowledge and support those on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis and offer resources for fans and community members who would like to learn about safe volunteering opportunities. Included in the initiative, the Atlanta United Foundation granted long-time partner Soccer in the Streets $85,000 to assist with the non-profit’s operational and coaching expenses during this time. The club created a community resources page on its website which houses information on how Atlanta United and its partners are collaborating with organizations throughout the city to offer a variety of resources such as access to food, childcare, financial relief, local rideshare and fitness opportunities. The club also placed billboard tributes in the metro-Atlanta area dedicated to the women and men working in essential industries supporting our community.
  • Chicago Fire FC – Chicago Fire FC is supporting the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund and the American Red Cross. In collaboration with the City of Chicago, The Chicago Community Trust and United Way of Metro Chicago launched the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund to unite the funds raised by Chicago’s philanthropies, corporations and individuals to be disbursed to nonprofit organizations across the region. The Fire is also raising awareness that blood donations are desperately needed in the state of Illinois. Donating blood products is essential to community health and eligible donors are strongly urged to donate during the COVID-19 outbreak. As part of our nation’s critical infrastructure, healthy individuals can still donate in areas that have issued shelter in place declarations.
  • New York City FC – “New York City FC is donating 100,000 meals to South Bronx residents through NY Common Pantry during this critical time of the COVID-19 outbreak in New York City. While the Club may not be playing any games in the South Bronx right now, NYCFC has also partnered with the New York Yankees to create a $1.4 million COVID-19 Disaster Relief Program for NYCFC gameday staff. Additionally, NYCFC has created a resource hub—Stay Healthy. Stay Home.—to connect fans, first team players and staff and mobilize outreach for NY Common Pantry. This will become a place where the NYCFC Family can come together to share ways to help the local community as well as connect initiatives that will educate, provide relief, keep connected and raise awareness.”
  • Sporting Kansas City – Sporting Kansas City announced last week the launch of Sporting Community Kitchen, partnering with City Foods & Events and Operation BBQ Relief to provide 1,000 free hot meals every weekday to citizens across Greater Kansas City affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sporting Community Kitchen is part of a newly established philanthropic platform called Sporting Serves, which will see Sporting Kansas City and The Victory Project—the club’s flagship charitable arm—join several community partners to provide relief to citizens across the metropolitan area in a unified response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent weeks, Sporting and The Victory Project have donated 1,200 non-latex gloves to Children’s Mercy Hospital and 200 soccer balls to Ott Elementary School in Independence, Missouri, while continuing to support children and families affected by pediatric cancer through the Sporting Wishes program and a family assistance fund to aid with medical bills and household needs.
 
 
LAFC victorious in Week One of eMLS Tournament Special presented by Coca-Cola® and PlayStation
Major League Soccer and FOX Sports debuted the eMLS Tournament Special presented by Coca-Cola® and PlayStation®  on Sunday night, and the Los Angeles Football Club reigned supreme during the first weekend of digital competition. LAFC’s Adama Diomande and his eMLS club counterpart Martin ”RemiMartinn” Oregel took down LA Galaxy superstar Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez,  Chicago Fire FC defender Francisco Calvo, and the rest of the eMLS competition to earn a spot in the fifth and final episode, which will take place on May 17th against the Week Two, Week Three, and Week Four champions.
 
Highlights from Week One:
 
As a result of LAFC’s victory, a donation will be made by MLS WORKS and FOX Sports to Feeding America on behalf of the club, with MLS WORKS also contributing to Food Banks Canada in LAFC’s name.
 
Week Two matchups get underway this Sunday, featuring Minnesota United’s Tyler Miller and Jay Adams facing Sporting Kansas City’s Wan Kuzain and Alexander ‘ALEKZANDUR’ Betancourt before D.C. United’s Paul Arriola and Mohamed ‘KingCJ0’ Diop take on the New England Revolution’s Diego Fagundez and John ‘JKO’ Oliveira. The winners of both matches will meet head-to-head to determine the Week Two champion.
 
 
Homegrown midfielder Wan Kuzain becomes virtual face of Sporting Kansas City
Sporting Kansas City homegrown midfielder Wan Kuzain has become the virtual face of the club, staying connected to the game as the player representative in the eMLS Tournament Special. The 21-year-old Kuzain will represent SKC in Week Two of the eMLS Tournament Special when facing Minnesota United FC on Sunday, April 26 in the first round of EA Sports FIFA 20 action (7 p.m. ET, FS1 / FOX Deportes / FOXSports.com).
 
After signing as a Homegrown Player in 2018, Kuzain played six matches and scored his first MLS goal in his rookie year, becoming the first professional player of Malaysian descent to both play and score in the United States.
 
Born in Illinois, Kuzain represented the U.S. U-17 National Team before receiving a call to the Malaysia U-22 National Team. Due to his professional status in the U.S., Kuzain has become a folk hero in Malaysia where fans have posted YouTube videos with millions of views and thousands of comments.
 
While Kuzain patiently awaits the day he can return to the field, he continues making his mark in the gaming scene, having defeated soccer fan and former NFL All-Pro receiver Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson, along with a bevy of fellow MLS players including Hany Mukhtar and David Ochoa.
 
Kuzain will be available to media on a Zoom video conference call on Tuesday, April 21 at 10:30 a.m. CT. Click here to access the call.
 
 
Get Fit, Stay Active, Hone your Skills: Train with MLS
Major League Soccer has launched “Train With MLS” – a new, comprehensive digital experience on TrainwithMLS.com that features hundreds of training videos from MLS clubs for coaches, parents and recreational players of all ages and abilities.

Featuring world-class coaching from MLS clubs and first-team coaches, “Train With MLS” provides a central online location for youth players, parents, and coaches to find drills, workouts, coaching tips and fun soccer activities. With an initial library of hundreds of videos, “Train with MLS” will surface and showcase new content each week, organized in easy-to-understand categories, such as Ball Mastery, Dribbling, Fitness, and more.
 
CLICK HERE for more information
 
 
Media Availabilities This Week Around MLS
Tuesday, April 21
11:30 a.m. ET – Sporting Kansas City midfielder Wan Kuzain
Zoom Video Conference Call | Join Here
Contact Rob Thomson (rthomson@sportingkc.com) for more information.
 
2 p.m. ET – FC Cincinnati midfielder Jimmy McLaughlin and goalkeeper Spencer Richey
Zoom Video Conference Call
Zoom Meeting ID: 843 734 472
Password: 044417
Audio only dial-in: +1 (312) 626-6799
Media who plan to participate should inform Kevin Noonan (noonan@fccincinnati.com or via text at 513-703-3425) by 12 p.m. on Tuesday
 
Wednesday, April 22
12 p.m. ET – FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez
Zoom Video Conference Call – Join Here
Meeting ID: 411 968 5000
Password: 533332
Contact MCalderon@FCDallas.net with questions.
 
Thursday, April 23
2 p.m. ET – FC Cincinnati’s director of player development Larry Sunderland
Zoom Video Conference Call
Zoom Meeting ID: 843 734 472
Password: 044417
Audio only dial-in: +1(312) 626-6799
Media who plan to participate should inform Kevin Noonan (noonan@fccincinnati.com or via text at 513-703-3425) by 12 p.m. on Thursday
 
2 p.m. ET – Portland Timbers general manager Gavin Wilkinson
Zoom Video Conference Call
Zoom Meeting ID: 912 8050 0129
Password: 899539
 
4:30 p.m. ET – FC Dallas technical director Andre Zanotta
Zoom Video Conference Call – Join Here
Meeting ID: 411 968 5000
Password: 533332
Contact MCalderon@FCDallas.net with questions.
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MLS Unites to VOTE

Join Major League Soccer, Black Players for Change, and the MLS Players Association in participating in the November 3 general election. In-person early voting has started in over 40 states. Make a plan to vote.