New England Soccer Today

Special Olympians Take Center Stage

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All photos courtesy of Kari Heistad/

Following Saturday’s Revolution-New York City FC match at Gillette Stadium, the Revolution organization wrapped up a week of work with the Massachusetts Special Olympics by hosting a soccer game between Special Olympians from the evening’s respective teams. After a back and forth game in which there was no shortage of excitement, New York City FC won the game 1-0.

Fans who attended the MLS clash – which the Revolution won 1-0 – were invited to stay for the Special Olympians match, and many moved down to the Fort, where the Revolution’s most vocal supporters often set up shop. With the field positioned across one-half of the regulation field, the Special Olympians took the Gillette Stadium for a 7-v-7 match that featured 20-minute halves.

The play was evenly divided among the teams, with City regularly testing the Revolution goalkeeper, who saved numerous shots on goal. The only goal of the game came in the 30th minute after the keeper made one save, but the rebound was knocked in by City. While the Revolution team searched for the equalizer in the final ten minutes of the game, City held on the for the win.

Earlier in the week, the Revolution organization hosted a contract signing session in partnership with Massachusetts Specials Olympics, and many familiar faces were on hand for match, including Heaps and Tom Soehn, both of whom showcased the same fiery reactions seen during the evening’s first match. The Revolution front staff team was lead by club president Brian Bilello while center back Andrew Farrell watched the entire game, offering coaching to the players at halftime and staying late to hand out awards at the end of the game.

The Special Olympians were treated to the full game experience as they marched in through the Revolution flags, and were cheered on by the Rev Girls. The Fort and fans provided the singing for the national anthem while gameday announcer John Rooke read off player names and the goalscorer. The Minutemen and their muskets were at the ready just as they had been during the evening’s first match. The supporters in the Fort chanted “Let’s go team in blue,” which was apt as both teams were in blue.

The game culminated activities that included the first-ever “Bowl For A Goal” fundraiser, which was held on Wednesday. The event featured Revolution players, staff, Special Olympians, and fans, all of whom competed for a team trophy that was awarded at the end of the evening. The festivities raised more than $50,000 to Massachusetts Special Olympics. The money will be used to fund the participation of 600 Olympians in soccer programs across the Commonwealth during the fall.


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