Special Olympics scrimmage - June 26, 2021

In partnership with Unified Sports and Special Olympics Kansas, The Victory Project and Sporting Kansas City hosted a 40-minute soccer scrimmage for Special Olympics athletes on Saturday night at Children’s Mercy Park.

Taking place shortly after Sporting’s 2-1 home win over LAFC, the Special Olympics scrimmage featured 18 local athletes who took the field for a comprehensive matchday experience inside the stadium. The event was hosted in place of Major League Soccer’s annual Unified Soccer Exchange games, which were canceled for the second straight year in 2021 due to the pandemic.

Both teams in Saturday’s scrimmage were presented with authentic match jerseys from adidas and the game ended in an exciting 4-4 draw. Brooke Burris and James Vogel served as coaches in the 6-v-6 matchup. Over the course of the night, the Special Olympics athletes received medals and met Sporting Kansas City players Gianluca Busio, Andreu Fontas, Jaylin Lindsey, Tim Melia, Johnny Russell and Daniel Salloi.

“Our athletes haven't been able to participate in the MLS Exchange in two years, so this was a huge blessing for them to be able to take the field,” said Taylor Obersteadt, Unified Sports Coordinator at Special Olympics Kansas. “The past month of the team practicing together to lead up to this moment was incredible. You saw a whole new level of excitement, motivation and drive after not having this inclusive interaction for so long. Unified Sports is an outlet for so many youths and we were beyond excited to get together again on the field.”

“Watching the athletes being cheered on by their families, the Cauldron and our Sporting players was so special to witness,” said Chioma Atanmo, Community Programs Leader at Sporting KC. “This event serves as a reminder of how sports can be a great vehicle to promote social inclusion and community.”

Sporting KC Unified Team – June 26, 2021

  • Alexis Chambers
  • Kinley Drummond
  • Walter Hayes
  • Sam Laws
  • Isaac Laws
  • Eva McMahon
  • Ben Miller
  • Jacob Murphy
  • Aeriana Ortiz
  • Ryan Prothe
  • Owen Prothe
  • Alexander Rosado
  • Xavier Seaton
  • Payton Sprague
  • Mayson Sprague
  • Kade Thomas
  • Joshua Toplikar
  • Jaime Villegas
  • COACHES: Brooke Burris and James Vogel
Special Olympics team lineup - June 26, 2021