LOS ANGELES (Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022) – The LA Galaxy signed 19 new players to contract for the club's LA Galaxy Special Olympics Unified Team ahead of the 2022 season. The LA Galaxy Special Olympics Unified Team will kick off the 2022 season against the Colorado Rapids Special Olympics Unified Team following the Galaxy’s Sept. 17 home match against the Colorado Rapids. Tickets to the match can be purchased at www.lagalaxy.com/tickets.
The athletes were announced during the 2022 LA Galaxy Special Olympics Unified Team signing ceremony on Aug. 16 at Dignity Health Sports Park. At the ceremony, LA Galaxy Head Coach Greg Vanney met with the LA Galaxy Special Olympics Unified Team to sign mock contracts and take a photo with midfielder Sacha Kljestan, while forward Javier “Chicharito” Hernández surprised the team during a group photo. The LA Galaxy Special Olympics Unified Team players each had their own locker and were given personalized jerseys with shorts and socks, before taking a team photo on the field.
“We’re excited to bring back our Special Olympics Unified Program this year and will continue to promote the importance of social inclusion through soccer,” said LA Galaxy Community Relations & Foundation Manager Gabriel Osollo.
Leveraging the power of sport, MLS WORKS, ESPN and Special Olympics have teamed up to promote an environment of social inclusion, which is aligned with the League's Soccer For All platform. Cornerstone to the collaboration is the Special Olympics Unified Sports® Soccer Exchange Program, uniting individuals with intellectual disabilities (Special Olympics athletes) and individuals without intellectual disabilities (Unified partners) as members of one team.