Matt Lampson: Humanitarian of the Year

MLS today announced that goalkeeper Matt Lampson has been named the 2018 MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year, presented by Advocare.

Motivated by his own battle with Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Lampson founded the LampStrong Foundation — a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial, emotional and motivational support to cancer patients and their families — in 2014. His tireless work to touch the lives of cancer patients and their families and encourage survivors to embrace their "second chance at life" led to his being named 2016 MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year.

Lampson joined MNUFC in January 2018 as a part of an MLS SuperDraft trade. He arrived fresh off a standout 2017 season with Chicago Fire, in which he started a career-high 24 of 24 games, earning eight shutouts and making 58 saves. Lampson notched his first win with the Loons on March 10 at Orlando City SC, a 2-1 result, and made 31 saves across nine starts during the 2018 campaign. Since moving to the Twin Cities, he has partnered with the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, where he visits monthly to share and spend time with patients, in addition to continuing his LampStrong Heroes Program honoring patients at home and away games.

In recognition of Lampson’s efforts, MLS WORKS will donate $5,000 to the LampStrong Foundation.

Please find a statement from Lampson below:

“Above all, I feel it imperative to call attention to all of the players that were nominated [for this award]. It is fantastic and inspiring to have so many athletes using their platform in Major League Soccer to make a positive impact all over the world. I am honored to simply be mentioned in the same category as all of these phenomenal people.

“When I began working with cancer patients and families in 2013, I never would have dreamed of receiving this honor once, let alone for a second time. All I have ever tried to do is inspire and instill hope in all cancer patients to use their second chance at life to truly make a difference. I want everyone to understand and recognize how precious every day is and live with a greater appreciation of life. I have been able to reach so many lives through the help of not only Minnesota United, but nearly every other team across the league. The community relations staffs of MLS have helped me to spread my message and change lives every day.

“I will continue to do everything in my power to reach as many patients and families as possible. This award is for every single person that has conquered cancer and has earned a second chance at life. This award is for every family member that has known the struggle and been the strength for those that are in the battle. This award is for my parents and my siblings, whom I would never have been able to defeat cancer without.

“Thank you to not only Minnesota United, but to my teammates, the front office and, most importantly, the fans, for being so supportive and impactful in my mission. This award is well deserved for such an amazing city.”

The finalists for MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year were determined by votes from current MLS players, technical staffs and front offices and media members. Lampson is the first MNUFC player to win an MLS end-of-season award.

MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year Winners:

  • 2018: Matt Lampson (Minnesota United)
  • 2017: Ryan Hollingshead (FC Dallas)
  • 2016: Matt Lampson (Chicago Fire)
  • 2015: Kei Kamara (Columbus Crew SC)
  • 2014: AJ DeLaGarza (LA Galaxy)
  • 2013: Matt Reis (New England Revolution)
  • 2012: Chris Seitz (FC Dallas)
  • 2011: Zak Boggs (New England Revolution)
  • 2010: Seth Stammler (New York Red Bulls)
  • 2009: Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards); Logan Pause (Chicago Fire)
  • 2008: Jose Burciaga Jr. (Colorado Rapids)
  • 2007: Diego Gutierrez (Chicago Fire)
  • 2006: Michael Parkhurst (New England Revolution)
  • 2005: Brian Kamler (Real Salt Lake)
  • 2004: Chris Henderson (Colorado Rapids)
  • 2003: Ben Olsen (D.C. United)
  • 2002: Steve Jolley (MetroStars)
  • 2001: Tim Howard (MetroStars)
  • 2000: Abdul Thompson Conteh (San Jose Earthquakes)