(Red Bull Arena – Photo by Jason Schott)
The New York Red Bulls have signed 11 athletes from Special Olympics New Jersey to two-game contracts, the club announced on Thursday.
The New York Red Bulls Unified Team will take the field for two matches, starting with a home game against Special Olympics Florida this Saturday at Red Bull Arena before the New York Red Bulls – Orlando City SC match.
On Wednesday, the players met with Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett before signing their contracts, and then warmed up with the Red Bulls first team before holding a training session at Red Bulls Training Facility.
“We are very proud to partner with Special Olympics New Jersey and to add these players to the Red Bulls family,” said Hamlett. “We are committed to being leaders in our community and practicing awareness and inclusion of all individuals through the sport we love. We are looking forward to a fun and enjoyable match against Special Olympics Orlando on Saturday.”
The Red Bulls Unified Team will travel to Texas in September to face Special Olympics Dallas on the same day as the Red Bulls – FC Dallas meeting on September 2.
The New York Red Bulls are one of several MLS teams to partner with their local Special Olympics chapters to create teams and host matches in their stadiums. The New York Red Bulls also host two weeks of soccer camp each Summer at the Special Olympics Sports Complex in Lawrenceville, N.J.
Leveraging the power of sport, MLS, ESPN and Special Olympics have partnered to promote an environment of social inclusion by uniting people with and without intellectual disabilities through Special Olympics Unified Sports.