Washington, DC - DC United Special Olympics Unified Team [SODC] triumphed with a 3 to 2 victory over the Colorado Rapids unified team this weekend. Goals were scored by Kristhian Espinal, Kevin Guzman and Francisco Ayala. This year DC United signed 17 players to the club’s Special Olympics DC (SODC) Unified Soccer Team, 8 Special Olympics athletes and 9 partners. Brightspot is the presenting sponsor of DC United Special Olympics Unified Exchange program, a league partnership between MLS, ESPN and Special Olympics. The initiative promotes an environment of social inclusion by uniting athletes with and without intellectual disabilities through Special Olympics Unified Sports.
DC United’s Director of Community Relations Victor Melara said “one of the great things about this initiative is that in addition to playing on the field for those with intellectual disabilities, some players come from disadvantaged backgrounds. The program gives them a chance to travel that they might not normally be able to do.”
DC United looks for talented athletes that can play with those challenged to achieve intellectually. Jonathan Ulloa, one of the talented partner players and underclassman at E. L. Haynes High School in Washington, DC, is one of those participating in the initiative for the second year. Ulloa had been employed by VERCO Management Company this summer as a construction general laborer during the summer break. “Jonathan is inquisitive, a hard worker and great team player. We were proud to be able to help him make SODC training work outs and team practices” said Victor Romero, Superintendent of Operations. He went on to add “Jonathan is courteous, respectful and reads people well. I can see where he would be the unifying glue between those that are gifted and those that are struggling.”
For more information about DC United and its community outreach programs, visit www.dcunited.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.