FRISCO, TX (May 12, 2022) – FC Dallas and Major League Soccer announced today the launch of Soccer For All Week (May 12-23). The League-wide initiative reinforces the collective commitment to drive positive social change, foster more inclusive and equitable communities, and support an end to discrimination. Introduced in 2018 through MLS WORKS, the League’s social responsibility platform, Soccer For All signifies that everyone is welcome.
FC Dallas will kick off Soccer For All Week when it announces the signing of 15 Special Olympics Texas Athletes and Partners to a two-year FC Dallas Unified Team contract. The FC Dallas Unified Team, with support from the FC Dallas Foundation, Globe Life, Gallagher and Toyota, provides training, competitions and social experiences for individuals with and without intellectual disabilities to create a unified soccer experience. After a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program is back with a bang for 2022 as the FC Dallas Unified Team will face both Texas rivals during the regular season.
FC Dallas and other MLS clubs conduct year-long initiatives that provide inclusive opportunities in-stadium and for members of the local community including, mini-pitch installs, youth soccer programming, equipment donations, first-team experiences for individuals with and without intellectual and physical disabilities and sensory rooms in addition to amplifying a variety of commemorative awareness months and moments including Black History Month, Juneteenth, Women’s History Month, Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month. Among some of the upcoming initiatives taking place during Soccer For All Week:
- Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month: This month, MLS WORKS will collaborate with the Asians in MLS, the League’s Asian & Pacific Islander Employee Resource Group (ERG), and Extratime presented by AT&T 5G to speak with Real Salt Lake’s Bobby Wood to shine a light on important issues touching the API community. The conversation is the next iteration of the “Soccer For All Speaker Series,” a season-long program conducted by MLS WORKS in partnership with the League’s ERGs to amplify inclusive voices and perspectives. The full podcast will be available on Thursday, May 19 at MLSsoccer.com.
- LGBTQ+ Pride Month: To commemorate LGBTQ+ Pride Month in June, MLS Clubs will integrate adidas Pride pre-match tops during matches, which fans will have an opportunity to purchase beginning Sunday, May 15 at MLSstore.com and at stadium retail locations. MLS will also partner with Athlete Ally, an organization supporting equal access, opportunity, and experience in sports regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, to support Playing for Pride – a fundraising campaign that brings together athletes, teams, and Leagues to support Athlete Ally’s mission of making sports inclusive for the LGBTQI+ community. Visit MLS’ Playing for Pride page to learn more and donate. In addition, MLS clubs will kick off local activations including participation in Pride marches, educational trainings and in-stadium LGBTQ+ Pride nights during Soccer For All Week, throughout June and the rest of the year. The League will also make donations to Athlete Ally as well as You Can Play, an organization that strives to ensure the safety and inclusion for all who participate in sports, including LGBTQ+ athletes, coaches and fans.
- Y’all Means All Night and Honoring Juneteenth: FC Dallas will be supporting and activating at the Dallas Pride Festival at Dallas’ historic Fair Park in June. FC Dallas’ match against the Vancouver Whitecaps on June 18 at Toyota Stadium will celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion with its annual Y’all Means All Night which honors the LGBTQIA+ community. The night will also recognize Juneteenth, which is a June 19th federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of Black slaves.
Additional ways MLS and our partners are supporting Soccer For All Week include:
- MLS, P&G and Hispanic Star today announced the Capitanes del Futuro program. As part of a shared commitment to advance Hispanic progress in the United States, MLS and P&G are joining forces with Hispanic Star to create a comprehensive, goodwill program to develop the next generation of Hispanic business leaders. Through deeper partnerships with Hispanic Star and MLS Clubs, MLS and P&G, the Capitanes del Futuro program will provide participating youth with exclusive in-person and digital experiences that connect them to role models, expose them to Hispanic leaders and potential career paths, and deliver enrichment opportunities, hands-on experience and access to higher education opportunities, all while nurturing Hispanic values critical for personal effectiveness and long-term success. Taking place in partnership with six (6) MLS clubs (Inter Miami CF, New England Revolution, New York City FC, LA Galaxy, FC Cincinnati and Austin FC), the inaugural phase of this multi-year program will culminate during the League’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations.
- In partnership with the U.S. Soccer Foundation, MLS and its clubs have been creating Safe Places to Play mini-pitches in MLS communities since 2015. Collectively, the two organizations have created 247 mini-pitches across the country and are working to install 59 more – that’s more than 300 new places to play soccer nationwide! To find the nearest mini-pitch location to you, visit ussoccerfoundation.org/map.
Soccer For All content will be featured on broadcast, in-stadium and on League and club social and digital channels. To join the conversation, fans can use #SoccerForAll on social media and follow @MLSWORKS on Twitter and Instagram to see how clubs are activating in the community. Fans are also encouraged to share the content using #SoccerForAll, and upload their photos and videos at SoccerForAll.com for a chance to be featured in next year’s campaign.
For more information on Soccer For All, and other MLS WORKS initiatives, visit MLSsoccer.com/mlsworks. Additional details on how MLS is celebrating API Heritage Month, LGBTQ+ Pride Month and other commemorative months, will be available on MLSsoccer.com.