What is Unified?
In 2013 MLS WORKS, Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, announced a partnership with Special Olympics North America (SONA) to bring soccer, the world’s most popular sport, to more athletes with intellectual disabilities. In 2017, Atlanta United launched their Special Olympics Unified team which is comprised of both with (athletes) and without intellectual disabilities (partners) from Special Olympics Georgia.
How is the team chosen?
During its inception, the team was selected by Unified coaching staff from Special Olympics Georgia Cobb County, North Fulton United, and Atlanta United staff.
Today, the team is selected at an open tryout in late Fall. If you are interested in trying out, email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our email list.
When does the Unified team train and where?
The Unified team trains at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Training Ground each week from February to October. First Team Ambassadors and Atlanta United players attend training sessions to encourage and support the athletes and partners.
How long does the Unified season run?
The Unified season begins immediately after Unified Signing Day in March and runs until the last scheduled match, which could be an away or home match, in October.
Does the Unified team compete?
Yes! The Unified team competes against other MLS Unified teams in scrimmages and matches, changing opponents each year. The team plays in 9v9 or 11v11 format while being given the first team treatment with team gear, travel and one home and one away match.
How can I watch the Unified match(es)?
Check out ATLUTD on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updates on home and away matches. Livestreams of matches will be available at ATLUTD.com/Live.
How can I get involved with the Unified team or the initiative?
If you are interested in helping out with the Unified team or anything related to our special population work, please email email@example.com.