Revolution Unified Bring Inclusion on the Road

May 12, 2024

A fair result in New Jersey. The Revolution Unified Soccer team played their first match of 2024 at Red Bull arena in Harrison, NJ, drawing 1-1 with the Red Bulls Unified side made up of Special Olympics New Jersey athletes and Unified partners. The game saw a flurry of activity immediately following kickoff with the home team opening the scoring moments into the match. After weathering the initial storm, the Revs settled into the competition and equalized midway through the first half. After exchanging blows early on, both teams were able to play their games in the middle of the pitch with all but a few chances being thwarted by stout defenses and solid goalkeeper play.

Prior to kickoff, the Revs and Red Bulls engaged in traditional pre-match pomp and circumstance with team introductions, the national anthem, and cheers from the crowd. For half the Revs team, this was their first MLS exchange match and there was some unease about what to expect. Revolution athlete, John Young expressed his feelings of playing on an MLS pitch for the first time, “Well, this is my first year, so a little nervous but also excited. I’m having mixed emotions right now.”  You could see the nervous excitement in the frenetic pace over the first 15 minutes of play. Once the teams got acclimated to the environment, things settled down and each team had stretches of play holding possession and working the ball around.

The second half was well played by both sides, showing the crowd what the MLS Exchange matches are all about – high quality inclusive sports. The spectrum of skill on the pitch crossed Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners to the point that most on-lookers might not be able to pick out who is who. This is what Unified Sports can do for athletes with and without disabilities, provide the opportunity to train together, travel together, socialize together, compete together, win, lose or draw, together.

After receiving their medals and leaving the pitch, both teams gathered for a dinner reception to connect and recount some of the highlights from the game. There were a few bits of trash talk, but all in good fun with congratulations and high fives being shared between the teams. There were even a few TikTok dance-offs recorded and immediately posted. The team wrapped up their night with an on-field recognition prior to the MLS game before settling in to watch the Revolution take on Red Bulls.

The Revolution Unified Team will play their next match at Gillette stadium when FC Dallas comes to town with their Unified team from Special Olympics Texas. We encourage everyone in the Special Olympics community to come out to support our team. Tickets to the Revolution Match will also give fans access to the Unified Match immediately following the first team game.

A fair result in New Jersey. The Revolution Unified Soccer team played their first match of 2024 at Red Bull arena in Harrison, NJ, drawing 1-1 with the Red Bulls Unified side made up of Special Olympics New Jersey athletes and Unified partners. The game saw a flurry of activity immediately following kickoff with the home team opening the scoring moments into the match. After weathering the initial storm, the Revs settled into the competition and equalized midway through the first half. After exchanging blows early on, both teams were able to play their games in the middle of the pitch with all but a few chances being thwarted by stout defenses and solid goalkeeper play.

Prior to kickoff, the Revs and Red Bulls engaged in traditional pre-match pomp and circumstance with team introductions, the national anthem, and cheers from the crowd. For half the Revs team, this was their first MLS exchange match and there was some unease about what to expect. Revolution athlete, John Young expressed his feelings of playing on an MLS pitch for the first time, “Well, this is my first year, so a little nervous but also excited. I’m having mixed emotions right now.”  You could see the nervous excitement in the frenetic pace over the first 15 minutes of play. Once the teams got acclimated to the environment, things settled down and each team had stretches of play holding possession and working the ball around.

The second half was well played by both sides, showing the crowd what the MLS Exchange matches are all about – high quality inclusive sports. The spectrum of skill on the pitch crossed Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners to the point that most on-lookers might not be able to pick out who is who. This is what Unified Sports can do for athletes with and without disabilities, provide the opportunity to train together, travel together, socialize together, compete together, win, lose or draw, together.

After receiving their medals and leaving the pitch, both teams gathered for a dinner reception to connect and recount some of the highlights from the game. There were a few bits of trash talk, but all in good fun with congratulations and high fives being shared between the teams. There were even a few TikTok dance-offs recorded and immediately posted. The team wrapped up their night with an on-field recognition prior to the MLS game before settling in to watch the Revolution take on Red Bulls.

The Revolution Unified Team will play their next match at Gillette stadium when FC Dallas comes to town with their Unified team from Special Olympics Texas. We encourage everyone in the Special Olympics community to come out to support our team. Tickets to the Revolution Match will also give fans access to the Unified Match immediately following the first team game.

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