2019 New England Revolution Unified Team Announced
The New England Revolution signed more than a dozen Special Olympics Massachusetts athletes and Unified partners to the 2019 New England Revolution Unified team on May 6 at Gillette Stadium. The athletes and partners signed their two-game contracts, received their team jerseys and spoke to members of the press. The Unified team is made up of seven Special Olympics Massachusetts athletes, and six Unified partners from around eastern Massachusetts.
- Aaron Allen – Hingham
- Shawn Barton – Stoughton
- Preston Hall – North Andover
- James Keith – North Andover
- Lumene Montissol – Mattapan
- JP Young – Milford
- Sam Spinney – Newburyport
- Carley Alston – Franklin
- Farley Asmath – Franklin
- Calen Frongillo – Franklin
- Claude Joseph – Weymouth
- Olivia Marshall – Milford
- Connor McMahon – Millis
The team was selected based on their performance and spirit at a clinic hosted in March by the New England Revolution first team members.
The Unified Sports soccer matches are scheduled in conjunction with the New England Revolution first-team matches, providing Revs fans with an opportunity to witness first-hand the talents and teamwork of Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners. The New England Revolution Unified team will take on the DC United Unified team at Audi Field July 12, and will host the New York City FC Unified team Sept. 29 at Gillette Stadium.
This marks the fifth year of the partnership between the New England Revolution and Special Olympics Massachusetts. The organizations team up throughout the year at events including their annual Bowl for a Goal fundraiser, sponsored by Arbella Insurance, which will be held on Aug. 21.
Unified partner, and returning team member, Calen Frongillo loves the spirit of the team.
“I love this team so much,” Frongillo said at the press conference Monday. “The spirit that everyone has, we’re all so passionate about playing and it’s a sport that I love and I hope to continue for many years.”
Athlete JP Young is excited to return to the team after a few years away.
“I’m excited to go back on the team because I missed it for the past 3 years and I want to see if I can make a difference again,” Young said Monday.
Returning athlete Lumene “Lightning” Montissol wore a headband to signing day with Japanese symbols representing certain victory. She gave a similar headband to Revs head coach Brad Friedel as good luck for the first team this season.
About the Special Olympics Unified Sports Soccer Exchange Program:
MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer’s Social Responsibility platform, in collaboration with ESPN and Special Olympics, announced in April the kickoff of the 2019 Special Olympics Unified Sports® Soccer Exchange Program. The program, aligned with the League’s Soccer For All platform, promotes an environment of social inclusion by uniting people with intellectual disabilities (Special Olympics athletes) and without intellectual disabilities (Unified partners) on and off the playing field.
A cornerstone of the partnership, the Unified Exchange Program provides Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners with top-level training and important life experiences. MLS clubs conduct signing days, jersey unveils, buddy programs with MLS first-team players, and gameday recognition of Special Olympics Unified teams. Unified teams represent their home MLS club, outfitted in authentic uniforms provided by Adidas.
This summer, MLS and ESPN will also host the 6th annual Special Olympics Unified Sports All-Star Soccer Showcase as part of MLS All-Star Week in Orlando. The Unified Sports East and West All-Star soccer teams will play an 11 versus 11 match, featuring Unified players representing MLS clubs. The Revolution Unified team will send one athlete and one Unified partner to represent New England at the All-Star Showcase.
Click here for the full schedule of Unified matches.
About Special Olympics Massachusetts:
Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA) provides year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programming for over 13,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities across the state in over 450 year-round sporting competitions. Through the power of sport, the movement transforms the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Massachusetts also works with hundreds of schools across the Commonwealth, using sports as a tool to create inclusive communities. Learn more at www.specialolympicsma.org
About Special Olympics:
Special Olympics is a global inclusion movement using sport, health, education and leadership programs every day around the world to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1968, and celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 6 million athletes and Unified Sports partners in over 190 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Special Olympics is supported by individuals, foundations and partners, including Bank of America, the Christmas Records Trust, The Coca-Cola Company, ESPN, Essilor Vision Foundation, the Golisano Foundation, IKEA Foundation, the Lane Family, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, Lions Clubs International, Safilo Group, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, TOYOTA, United Airlines, and The Walt Disney Company. Click here for a full list of partners. Engage with us on: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and our blog on Medium. Learn more at www.SpecialOlympics.org.