Joining together with Special Olympics Southern California, LA Galaxy hosted open tryouts, in search for the next 20 athletes to become members of the 2019 Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) Unified Team at Dignity Health Sports Park.
The SOSC Unified Soccer Team Exchange Program brings together athletes with and without intellectual abilities for a unique opportunity to participate on a team where they all train, compete, and partake in social experience together.
Tryouts began with a couple icebreakers to get everyone acquainted with one another. Activities included snake tag, group discussions, and creating objects with their groups.
Once icebreakers concluded, all the athletes were split up in six groups to begin participating in the soccer stations. The six stations were passing, dribbling, shooting, scrimmage, agility, and footwork drills. Each group rotated to all the stations to show off their soccer skills and learn more about their teammates in their group.
Wrapping up the event, athletes came together to discuss what their favorite part of the day was, what activity they enjoyed the best, and one new person they meet that afternoon. After a group photo, newly created friendships and a final snack break, tryouts concluded, and coaches had the task of selecting a team of 20. The newly selected LA Galaxy SOSC Unified team has two exciting matchups this season against the Houston Dynamo Unified Team on Friday, April 19thand an away match with New York Red Bulls Unified Team on Saturday, May 4th.
Unified Sports program will continue to inspire athletes that playing together is quick path to friendship. LA Galaxy Special Olympics Unified Team looks to bring people together to form lifelong friendship by competing and growing as equals on and off the field.
Follow along with the LA Galaxy Special Olympics team this season @la_galaxy_foundation on Instagram.