D.C. United have signed 14 players to the club’s Special Olympics DC (SODC) Unified Soccer Team, presented by Brightspot. For the fifth straight season, the team will compete against MLS-affiliated Special Olympics Unified Teams at home and on the road.
The lineup was officially announced in a press conference emceed by long-term Black-and-Red play-by-play voice Dave Johnson. United midfielder Chris Durkin was on hand to congratulate the team as they signed contracts. Following the announcement, the team received jerseys and took their first photos as a squad.
The SODC Unified Team will play their home match on July 12 against Special Olympics Massachusetts before the Black-and-Red's match against the New England Revolution. The team will travel to Atlanta to face Special Olympics Georgia on July 21 following United's away match against Atlanta United FC.
The Unified Exchange program is a partnership between Major League Soccer, D.C. United and Special Olympics DC that brings individuals with and without intellectual disabilities together as teammates to participate in unique training, competition and social experiences.
To help Special Olympics reach the goal of 7 million acts of inclusion and support ESPN’s mission to use the power of sport to inspire social change, MLS is asking individuals to take the “Choose to Include” pledge by visiting www.specialolympics.org/MLS or by texting ‘MLS19’ to 51-555.