Sporting Kansas City will showcase community support and inclusivity next Wednesday, May 29, when the club celebrates Soccer For All in conjunction with a highly anticipated matchup against the LA Galaxy at Children’s Mercy Park. Tickets for the Western Conference clash are now available at SeatGeek.com with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m. CT.
Major League Soccer’s second annual Soccer For All Month officially kicks off today and runs through the end of June, showcasing the collective efforts taking place across the league to promote inclusivity.
Soccer For All will highlight Sporting’s dedication to fostering local communities and providing an environment in which staff, players, partners and fans are treated with dignity and respect. The initiative signifies that everyone is welcome at Sporting, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status.
At the forefront of Soccer For All, Sporting has unveiled the club’s new Pride training top, which will be on sale at SportingStyle locations inside the stadium while supplies last and available for pre-order at SportingStyle.com beginning Monday, May 27.
Like the 2019 primary jersey, Parley jersey and Retro top, Sporting’s Pride top was unveiled through imagery captured at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri. Sporting players will wear the Pride top during pre-match warmups on May 29 and before road matches at Toronto FC on June 7 and Real Salt Lake on June 29.
Sporting has forged numerous local partnerships to support Soccer For All throughout the season, including the following initiatives:
Abilities: In addition to hosting an Abilities Clinic for children with cognitive, developmental and physical disabilities on June 20 at Swope Soccer Village, Sporting will participate in two Special Olympics Unified Soccer Exchange matches involving athletes from Special Olympics Kansas and Special Olympics Missouri. The first took place at Children’s Mercy Park immediately following a nationally televised MLS match between Sporting and the New York Red Bulls on April 14. The second is scheduled for June 23 after Sporting’s road match at Columbus Crew SC.
Socioeconomic: Sporting has provided for underserved local youth through the TeamSmile dental clinic at Children’s Mercy Park on April 26, the Vibrant Health Clinic at Soccer Nation on May 16, and the Recycle Your Game Clinic—fostered through donations from Sporting KC fans—on May 23 at Samuel U Rodgers Health Center. Sporting has also built more than 20 futsal courts in the Kansas City area for local youth and hosts free futsal tournaments throughout the summer.
The Sporting Club Network, an affiliation of youth clubs across the region, has also supported the initiative by providing free coaching education in English and Spanish and numerous free clinics for youth players.
Gender Equality: Sporting holds a variety of camps and clinics for female players throughout the year in addition to hosting Showcase KC, an annual invitational for female players who want to play at the college level. The club will also co-host watch parties for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup from June 7 – July 7 at the Kansas City Live! Block in the Kansas City Power & Light District.
Sexual Orientation: Sporting unveiled today the new Pride training top to be worn at multiple matches over the course of the month.
Religion: Sporting hosted Faith & Family Night last Saturday, May 18, featuring a Leaders in Faith guest speaker panel with Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowl punter Dustin Colquitt and former University of Kansas basketball star and NBA champion Wayne Simien.
National Origin: Sporting has emphasized cultural integration through a multifaceted partnership with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, unveiling the club’s new jerseys and training tops with a focus on racial and gender equality. In partnership with The Victory Project, the club has also donated soccer balls to India and school supplies to children in Mexico and Panama. Sporting’s MLS roster consists of players from 12 different countries.
Inclusion: Sporting and Children’s Mercy have partnered to launch the anti-bullying initiative Red Card: Call It When You See It while also supporting the league-wide bullying prevention program ‘Actions Matter.’
The Red Card campaign unites local communities in taking a stance to end bullying, rallying Sporting players, staff and fans to help curb one of the most significant social issues impacting children and teens nationwide. In addition, MLS WORKS has partnered with EverFi to initiate a digital education platform called ‘Actions Matter.’ The anti-bullying program will be implemented in 120 schools throughout all MLS markets including Kansas City, reaching approximately 40,000 students nationwide in grades 8-11 during its inaugural year.