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Ripples: May Community Impact

Sejong Academy Visit 2

The month of May was a busy time for the Community Relations team at Minnesota United. From school visits to community clinics, MNUFC worked hard to create a positive impact in multiple Twin Cities neighborhoods. In celebration of those endeavors, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite events over this past month.

One Planet Jersey Auction:

In the Earth Day match against the Seattle Sounders, MNUFC wore One Planet jerseys made out of 100% recycled plastic. The jerseys themselves help reduce plastic waste, and to take it a step further, MNUFC held a One Planet Jersey Auction in which game-worn jerseys from Ménder García, Zarek Valentin, Hassani Dotson, and Robin Lod were sold to the highest bidder. The proceeds benefited Mississippi Park Connection, an incredible group that protects, connects, promotes, and advocates for the mighty Mississippi that runs through our cities.


Futsal Blue Cross Blue Shield Community Clinic 

On Friday, May 5, MNUFC hosted its first Blue Cross Blue Shield community clinic of the year with Futsal Society. Futsal Society is a wonderful local program that provides a free soccer alternative to kids who cannot “pay to play.” The evening was filled with top-notch talent, laughs, games, drills, and even a DJ!  MNUFC players Diogo Pacheco, Carlos Leatherman, Mikael Marques, and Britton Fischer helped to support the young players through the warmups and drills.

Walk for Animals

The Animal Humane Society hosted its 52nd annual Walk for Animals fundraiser on May 6. The fun festival and pet parade brought Minnesotans together for an incredible day of celebrating their own furry friends while supporting the vulnerable and homeless animals who need help. There were food trucks, pet vendors, and adorable animals as far as the eye could see. MNUFC and PK showed full support by mingling, meeting, and greeting attendees.

Unified Tryouts:

The Month of May also meant an expansion of the Unified team, presented by Allina Health! Tryouts were held on May 9, at the National Sports Center in Blaine, where the athletes and their partners from Special Olympics Minnesota brought their talent and energy. MNUFC2 coaches Cameron Knowles and Jeremy Hall, as well as MNUFC2 players Carlos Leatherman, Diogo Pacheco and Britton Fischer came to support the SOMN coaches with warmups, drills and scouting.

MLS Works – Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative – has a partnership with Special Olympics to bring soccer to athletes with varying intellectual abilities, leveraging the strength of MLS to promote awareness, respect, inclusion, and acceptance throughout the soccer community. Stay tuned for more information on how you can support the Unified Team by cheering them on after an MNUFC home game later this season.


ACES School Visit

On Wednesday, May 10, Michael Boxall visited Northeast College Prep to participate in the ACES after-school program. Kids who signed up for the event played math games, asked questions, and kicked around the soccer ball with Boxy. It was an afternoon full of laughter, learning, and great fun.

Sejong Academy Visit 

On May 12, Sang Bin Jeong visited the Sejong Academy Korean Immersion School in St. Paul, where he played drums, made crafts, played soccer, and took pictures with the students. There was an especially fun Q&A section where Sang Bin talked to the students about what it is like to be a professional footballer.

The school opened in 2014 with the mission to provide an academically rigorous education through Korean language and culture by using a research-based curriculum, high standards for accountability and promotion, and appreciation for diversity and international cultures.

ACES ALL-Star Event 

On Thursday, May 18, MNUFC2 player Jason Ramos joined front office staff at this year’s ACES ALL-Star Evening. ACES (Athletes Committed to Educating Students) is an after-school program that works to combat the academic opportunity gap in Minnesota. Through the exciting lens of sports, students learn to tackle their potential and improve their likelihood of success. The annual event was filled with entertainment, food, and both silent and live auctions that will benefit the program.


Mental Health Awareness Jersey Auction 

Much like the One Planet jerseys, MNUFC auctioned off game-worn Mental Health Awareness jerseys after the May 17 match against Houston Dynamo. DJ Taylor, Sang Bin Jeong, Michael Boxall, Zarek Valentin, and Wil Trapp all participated, and their jerseys were sold to benefit NAMI Minnesota

NAMI Minnesota (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults affected by mental illness. For over 40 years, NAMI Minnesota has worked to promote the development of community mental health programs and services, change public attitudes about mental illness, improve access to services, and increase opportunities for recovery.


Fraser Festival 

The Fraser Festival, presented by Central Roofing Company, was held at the Saint Paul RiverCentre on May 20, and Minnesota United showed their support with activations, giveaways and games. The FREE, one-of-a-kind, sensory-friendly festival was for anyone who wanted to show their support for individuals and families impacted by autism. This year’s festival focused on the five senses, and supported and engaged with all of them through various means.

  • Touch: face painting, bubbles, and therapy animals
  • Taste: food vendors
  • Smell: garden activity
  • Hearing: silent disco
  • Sight: photo booth, virtual reality activity, and entertaining performers
  • Bonus: body awareness with carnival games

A big thank you to everyone who helped to make these events possible. It is a true privilege for our club to be able to come alongside so many incredible organizations doing great work in our community, and we’re looking forward to many more impactful opportunities in the coming months.