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Sounders FC to Sign Special Olympics Washington Unified Sports Team on Tuesday, May 28

May 24, 2019 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Seattle Sounders FC News Release

SEATTLE, WASH. - This coming Tuesday, May 28 at 4:00 p.m. PT in The NINETY, Sounders FC is hosting a special signing ceremony to add its 2019 Special Olympics Washington Unified Sports athletes and partners to the roster. Head Coach Brian Schmetzer and forward Will Bruin will be in attendance to welcome the new athletes to Sounders FC and discuss teamwork, inclusion, competing on a high level and the club's historic rivalry with Portland as the Special Olympics Washington Unified Team prepares to face the Portland Timbers Unified Team twice this summer.

The athletes signing contracts on Tuesday are scheduled to play a Unified Exchange Match against the Portland Timbers at CenturyLink Field in July, then away at Providence Park in August. These Washington natives recently returned from representing the United States and playing in the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games held in Abu Dhabi in March, where they earned the bronze medal.

The Special Olympics Unified Exchanges matches are a special tradition for both Sounders FC and the Timbers, as the two rivals were the first MLS teams to ever host such a match, with the series beginning in 2010. The tradition has continued in each subsequent season, with two Special Olympics Unified Exchange matches played every year: one in Portland and one in Seattle. Now, every U.S.-based MLS club hosts or travels to play at least one Special Olympics Unified Exchange match each season.

After signing contracts to officially join Sounders FC, each athlete will take headshots for their Sounders FC roster and have a personalized jersey presented to them by Schmetzer and Bruin.

Sounders FC has supported Special Olympics programming since the club's inception into MLS in 2009. The partnership furthers the team's commitment to leading the way in equality and inclusion in sport.

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