July 15th marked a historic occasion for the RSL Unified Team as Real Salt Lake, RSL Community and Special Olympics Utah announced the RSL Unified roster for the 2021 season.
The celebration and introduction of this season’s team opened with remarks from members of RSL Community and Special Olympics President Scott Weaver before RSL Unified Head Coach Jenna Holland introduced the athletes to Real Salt Lake General Manager Elliot Fall, Assistant General Manager Tony Beltran, RSL Goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
Each player on this year’s team was called up to the signing table to sign their documents certifying their inclusion on the team together with Fall who marked the occasion with a photo with each player and his signature of welcome on the document.
Following the signing ceremony, the RSL locker room was unveiled to the athletes and their families by MacMath where they had the chance to see their very own lockers for the first time this season. Each player and coach had their customized jersey hanging in a specific locker, accompanied by new gear for the season.
The players then took the field at Rio Tinto Stadium for their first practice of the season as their families and members of RSL watched the session and celebrated the occasion.
The RSL Unified roster competes against other MLS teams and in recent years has traveled with the first team to games against Dallas, Kansas City and Colorado. The Unified initiative, which is supported by MLS Works and ESPN, has also hosted games at Rio Tinto against the Colorado Rapids and Atlanta United’s Special Olympics’ teams.
The motto for Unified Sports is “Training Together and Playing Together is a Quick Path to Friendship and Understanding”. Unified Sports is a national movement within Special Olympics that helps connect people with and without disability. Rosters are made up of players of similar age and skill, to make the most fun for all players.
Real Salt Lake is committed to supporting all communities, social change and making the sport of soccer attainable for all.