On Sunday, June 23 Columbus Crew SC partnered with Sporting Kansas City to host a Special Olympics Unified Sports soccer match between the Special Olympics Ohio team and the Special Olympics Kansas/Missouri team at MAPFRE Stadium. The match followed Columbus Crew SC’s 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City.
The match, presented by Acura, was part of the 2019 Special Olympics Unified Sports Soccer Exchange Program, which is a collaboration between Major League Soccer, ESPN and Special Olympics as part of MLS WORKS, the League's social responsibility platform. The event was also part of Crew SC's Give Forward initiative, presented by MAPFRE Insurance.
Along with playing on the pitch at MAPFRE Stadium, both teams got the opportunity to walk onto the field before the game and be introduced to the fans. Additionally, after the match, they received a medal from President Tim Bezbatchenko and current players for Crew SC. To view photos from this event, click here.
Sunday’s contest marked the fifth consecutive year that the Black & Gold has participated in the Special Olympics Unified Match and the third consecutive year that Acura has partnered with the Club for the event.
Up next, the Special Olympics Ohio team will travel to San Jose, California to face the Special Olympics Northern California team – the San Jose Earthquakes’ affiliate – for an exhibition match at Avaya Stadium, home of the Earthquakes, following the First Team’s match at Avaya Stadium on Saturday, August 3.