Union Charity & Awards
2006 MLS Players’ Award Supports Soccer in Newark
The U.S. Soccer Foundation recently added a new element to its Annual Grants Program. The Foundation, in partnership with the MLS Players Union and those Union members chosen by their respective teams as the "U.S. Soccer Foundation Humanitarians of the Year", will annually select a grant to be designated as the MLS Players’ Award. The Foundation is the recipient each season of all MLS player fines, which are added to the Foundation’s grant pool.
“No player likes to be fined; but, with this grant each year, the players know that their money is being used for a worthy cause”, said Bob Foose, Executive Director of the MLS Players Union. “The Union looks forward to working with the Foundation on this and other projects in the future.”
This year, the inaugural MLS Players' Award was given to the Just One Soccer League in Newark, New Jersey, to assist in their character development curriculum for at-risk children in this major metropolitan area. Just One Soccer League works to empower players and their families to understand the differences in their community, and to provide mentoring to those children who need it most. The MLS Players’ Award will provide uniforms, soccer balls, and equipment for Just One Soccer Leagues’ coaches and players. These resources will help expose the children to an organized and disciplined structure that will facilitate a positive understanding of the sport, as well as the importance of self-motivation and cooperative spirit in order to succeed in team sports.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to have developed, with the Player’s Union, this program to have one of our grants each year designated as the MLS Players Award,” said John Koskinen, President of the Foundation. “We think the grant recipients will be excited to have a direct identification with players who reached the highest pinnacle of their profession.”