NEW YORK – On behalf of the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, MLS WORKS, ESPN and Special Olympics are collaborating to leverage the power of sports to promote an environment of social inclusion and acceptance, by uniting people with and without intellectual disabilities through Special Olympics Unified Sports.
On Tuesday, August 5, MLS WORKS and ESPN will host a Special Olympics Unified Sports All-Star soccer match between Special Olympics North America and Special Olympics Germany, to coincide with the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Stars taking on German Bundesliga club, FC Bayern Munich.
The two Unified Sports soccer teams (comprising players both with and without intellectual disabilities, wearing uniforms provided by adidas) will play a 7-v-7 small-sided match, consisting of two 20-minute halves, at 2 pm PT on the Providence Park game field. The game will start immediately following the AT&T MLS All-Star open training session with free admission to the public. Special Olympics athletes and unified partners will be available for interviews following the game.
The game will showcase the Unified Sports exchange program that is the cornerstone of the ongoing partnership between MLS and Special Olympics North America. Through the Unified Sports soccer exchange program, Unified soccer teams from MLS cities travel to other MLS markets to receive training from MLS players and coaches, as well as compete in exhibition matches with their Special Olympics counterparts in that MLS market.
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 soccer players.
Toronto FC All-Star and World Cup star Michael Bradley will be joined by Bayern Munich legend and club ambassador Paul Breitner to present the Special Olympic athletes and the Unified Partners with medals following the match.
The participants and coaches will also participate in a halftime recognition during the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game at Providence Park (6:30 pm PT, ESPN2, Univision, TSN/RDS). ESPN is the Global Presenting Sponsor and Official Media Sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports.