On Wednesday, August 10, 2022, one Special Olympics Oregon athlete and one Unified partner from the Portland Timbers Unified Team will join players from across the league today to compete in the Special Olympics Unified All-Star Game, presented by MLS WORKS, ESPN, and Coca-Cola.
Who are the two players that will represent the Special Olympics Oregon Timbers? First time SOOR Portland Timbers Unified Team athlete, Sam Stickney, and returning Portland Timbers Unified partner, Javas Wray.
We met up with the two All-Stars so you can get to know them a little better.
- Age: 25
- Hometown: Bend, OR
- Position: Midfield
Sam has been playing soccer ever since he learned to walk, and has been a part of Special Olympics Unified Sports for about four years, playing for a Unified team in Bremerton, WA as well as representing the Seattle Sounders before moving to Oregon. In 2019, Sam traveled to Abu Dhabi as a member of the Special Olympics Team USA 11-aside soccer team to participate in the Special Olympics World Games, where he and his team earned a third place finish.
His favorite players are Zinedine Zidane, Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Michael Laudrup and the Brazilian Ronaldo, whose creativity inspires him to think outside of the box on the pitch.
“Soccer is my greatest love and passion in the whole world, and I am honored to be representing the Portland Timbers Unified soccer as a member of the Western Conference Unified All-Star Team in Minnesota, ” said Sam.
- Age: 21
- Hometown: Portland, OR
- Position: Midfield
Like Sam, Javas has played soccer since he was a child. He has been involved with Special Olympics Oregon for more than eight years both as a volunteer coach and Unified partner teammate. He was captain of his state championship winning club team, and enjoyed a fantastic experience playing in high school as well.
Javas is a student at Oregon State University pursuing a degree in graphic design, where he enjoys playing indoor and pickup soccer with his friends.
“My favorite part about playing soccer is its ability to connect people across the globe, despite cultural and language barriers, over the universal love for the game,” explained Javas.
The game will take place on Wednesday, August 10, 2022, at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota at 1:30pm PT and will be streamed on ESPN3. The West and East Unified All-Star teams will also be recognized on-field during the MLS All-Game, presented by Target, taking place at Allianz Field at 5:30pm PT.
Special Olympics Oregon and the Portland Timbers have had a long-standing partnership and this Unified All-Star Experience is one of the several ways that the two organizations showcase the transformative power of sport through inclusion and a passion for the beautiful game.
Good luck to Sam and Javas and congratulations to all the Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners who were selected to represent their respective MLS markets around the US and Canada this week!