NEW YORK –Today a group of professional soccer players, including FC Dallas' Zach Loyd, Brek Shea and Andrew Wiedeman, made history by banding together to support the cause of ending homelessness through sport. Acting completely independently and charitably across 13 cities in 3 countries, 21 soccer players formed the first-ever independent charitable alliance by active professional athletes. The Sport for Social Change Ambassadors program serves Street Soccer USA (SSUSA), a non-profit organization that transfers life and job skills to homeless youth and adults through sports; SSUSA operates programs in 20 U.S. cities and achieves a 75% success rate in connecting their participants to further education, employment, housing, and other services.
The Ambassadors’ purpose is to directly improve the lives of the homeless youth and adults in their community in addition to rallying the community around the cause of ending homelessness. Current SSUSA player, TK Ajiboye, who was homeless in NYC for a year and a half, used the SSUSA program to escape homelessness. In support of TK, Ambassador and Premier League player Emmerson Boyce flew from England to attend TK’s recent graduation from community college. “Having professional soccer players supporting me was an unbelievable feeling,” TK said, “getting support like that makes me want to do more for others.”
Ambassadors’ social change efforts extend to on-the-field performances as well. The first Ambassador, league leading scorer for two consecutive years Chris Wondolowski, makes his difference by donating $100 dollars for every goal he scores. So far he’s second in the league with eight goals in eight games and his club, the San Jose Earthquakes, have matched his pledge. Fans in the Bay Area have also supported Wondolowski’s efforts with donations for each goal.
Ambassador and New York Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty has led the recruitment of Ambassadors. “As professional athletes, we are leaders on and off the field. Soccer is a team sport, so we know what it means to support others, so we want to share that with the community. In the end, fighting homelessness and poverty needs to be a team sport as well.”
MLS teams have followed the players’ lead and are actively supporting the cause in New York, Dallas, D.C., and San Jose. The full list of the first wave of Ambassadors can be viewed at www.streetsoccerusa.org/press_and_media/Ambassadors and includes:
Eddie Ababio – Colorado Rapids
Juan Agudelo – New York Red Bulls
Eric Avila – Toronto FC
Johnny Borrajo – New York Red Bulls
Emmerson Boyce – Wigan Athletic (England)
Jeb Brovsky – Montreal Impact
Jon Busch- San Jose Earthquakes
Kenny Cooper – New York Red Bulls
Stephen Keel – New York Red Bulls
Zach Loyd – FC Dallas
Dax McCarty – New York Red Bulls
Lee Nguyen – New England Revolution
Heath Pearce – Chivas USA
Chris Pontius – DC United
Kofi Sarkodie – Houston Dynamo
Brek Shea – FC Dallas
Clyde Simms – New England Revolution
Kirk Urso – Columbus Crew
Michael Videira – Chicago Fire
Andrew Wiedeman – FC Dallas
Chris Wondolowski – San Jose Earthquakes
5/2 - 4:30 PM UPDATE: Thanks for all of the submissions. Our three winners are Russell Hoffman, Kegan Duncan and Brenda Beard. Congratulations!
We have three pairs of red section seats up for grabs in this week's ticket giveaway. Win them by completing this FCDallas.com scavenger hunt. First three entries with all the correct answers will win tickets to Sunday's 6 p.m. match vs Colorado. All the answers can be found on FCDallas.com.
- How much does the bus + ticket package cost for the FCD Texas Derby trip?
- Does Ugo Ihemelu prefer US Weekly or People?
- Who is the FC Dallas videographer?
- Who are the five clinicians at the 2012 Schellas Hyndman coaching clinic?
- What’s the location of the September Party at the Pubs event?
- How many saves has Chris Seitz made in 2012?
- Name the goalkeeper who advanced to the Sueno 2012 finals from Dallas.
FC Dallas is selling up to 150 travel packages for the June 16 Texas Derby match against the Houston Dynamo.
For $40 you will get a seat on a chartered bus down to Houston on match day, have a ticket for the FC Dallas section in brand new BBVA Compass Stadium and a ride back immediately after the match.
This is a one-of-a-kind package being offered for the only match FC Dallas and Houston will play this season.
To ensure you get a seat, click and order now.
The Dallas Sidekicks officially announced their return in a press conference this afternoon. The indoor franchise begins play in November after an eight year absence. FC Dallas President and CEO Doug Quinn had this to say Tuesday afternoon on behalf of the FC Dallas organization:
"Our appreciation for the history of soccer in North Texas makes the return of the Dallas Sidekicks very special to us. The return of the Sidekicks is a testament to the strength of soccer in America and North Texas. We look forward to sharing our quest to grow the game we all love."
FC Dallas Stadium is one of the busiest entertainment venues in North Texas according to the Dallas Business Journal, ranking No. 5 in their listings. A total of 1.5 million patrons visited the complex last year. Check out the slideshow on the DBJ website to see the company FC Dallas Stadium is in.
Thanks to everyone who showed up to our second Party at the Pubs event on Saturday at Trinity Hall. It was a great time thanks to you, the fans.
Full match highlights from The Home Depot Center.
Brek Shea converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.
Pat Noonan (Los Angeles Galaxy) right footed shot from the center of the box to the bottom left corner.
Robbie Keane (Los Angeles Galaxy) right footed shot from the center of the box is close, but misses to the right.
Blas Perez draws a foul in the penalty area.
Robbie Keane (Los Angeles Galaxy) right footed shot from the center of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.
Tonight's match between FC Dallas and the Los Angeles Galaxy is broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest Plus. The telecast goes live at 9:30 p.m. CT and features Jonathan Yardley and Ian Joy as broadcasters.
Here's where to find Fox Sports Southwest Plus locally:
Time Warner – Ch. 906 (digital cable)
Charter Cable – Ch. 300
DirecTV – Ch. 677 (677-1 HD)
Dish – Ch. 445 (9515 HD)
U-Verse Ch. 756 (1756 HD)
Fios – Ch. 77 (577 HD)
Saturday, April 28
Blackout rules may apply.
CLICK HERE for international TV listings
Full match highlights from FCD's 1-1 home draw with Real Salt Lake.
SAVE: Fabian Castillo gets in one-on-one with Nick Rimando.
CALLED BACK: Bobby Warshaw's goal negated by offsides call.
GOAL: Brek Shea gives FCD the lead after he buries the penalty kick.
SAVE: Chris Seitz denies Paulo Jr. to maintain the shutout.
GOAL: Emiliano Bonfigli ties the game for Real Salt Lake.
COUNTER: Seitz comes off his line to deny Alvaro Saborio a chance on goal.