Group photo in front of Washington Monument (640x360)

RSL, Nothing But Nets Fighting Malaria


2009 MLS Cup Champions to Host Malaria Awareness Soccer Clinic at Washington Monument Thursday as part of White House Community Service Event 


SANDY, Utah (Thursday, June 3, 2010) – Real Salt Lake and the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign are teaming up to raise awareness about malaria. Before the reigning MLS Cup championship side meets with President Obama on Friday, the club participated in a workshop at the iconic Washington Monument to engage D.C.-area children in the global fight against malaria—a preventable and treatable disease that continues to kill nearly 1 million people each year.

In support of President Obama’s United We Serve campaign, MLS W.O.R.K.S., Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, created the MLS W.O.R.K.S. Community Service Program - a collaborative effort to combine sport and service, promote goodwill within MLS markets, and improve lives and communities at the grassroots level.  Real Salt Lake’s participation in today’s workshop will highlight some of the important community service work the club has undertaken in connection with the global issue of malaria leading up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

Real Salt Lake was well represented at today’s event, with Founder and Co-owner Dave Checketts, Head Coach Jason Kreis, and the club’s duel Nothing but Nets spokesmen, defender Robbie Russell and midfielder Jean Alexandre, being joined by Assistant Coach Miles Joseph; captain Kyle Beckerman; defenders Chris Wingert, Chris Schuler, and Rauwshan McKenzie; midfielders Nelson González, Collen Warner and Luis Gil.

“Winning the MLS Cup was an incredible victory; we look forward to saying the same about malaria in 5 years,” said Russell, who was himself a victim of malaria while growing up in Ghana. “To know that a child dies every 30 seconds from a preventable disease is hard to understand, but it’s easy to help. We’re excited to be part of building the movement to end malaria.”

The Real Salt Lake contingent will be joined by local children from the D.C. SCORES program, players from the RSL Juniors youth soccer program, coaches from the D.C. Stoddert League, and members of the United Nations Nothing But Nets campaign. The educational event will combine soccer skills and education about the global issue of malaria right before the start of the 2010 World Cup, which provides a timely opportunity to educate children about malaria issues and teach ways that they can serve and help children in Africa and other parts of the world.

MLS W.O.R.K.S., Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative, has been connecting its teams, players, and fans to send nets and save lives through Nothing But Nets since 2007.  Since 2006, hundreds of thousands of supporters have helped Nothing But Nets raise more than $30 million to send more than 3 million life-saving bed nets to Africa.

As part of a country-wide bus tour to spread the buzz about saving lives by ending malaria, the Nothing But Nets’ “Buzz Tour” is working with MLS teams across the country to host in-stadium events to raise awareness about malaria in the lead up to the 2010 World Cup, which will be played in Africa for the first time—where 90 percent of malaria deaths occur.

Long-lasting, insecticide-treated bed nets are one of the easiest and most cost-effective methods of preventing the spread of the disease. The nets create a protective barrier against mosquitoes at night, when the vast majority of malaria transmissions occur.  One bed net can protect a family of four, and lasts three to five years.  A net costs just $10 to purchase, deliver, and educate the recipient on its proper use. 


About Nothing But Nets

Nothing But Nets is a global, grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. Inspired by sports columnist Rick Reilly, hundreds of thousands of people have joined the campaign that was created by the United Nations Foundation in 2006.  Founding campaign partners include the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares, The people of The United Methodist Church, and Sports Illustrated. It only costs $10 to provide an insecticide-treated bed net that can prevent this deadly disease. Visit to send a net and save a life.


About MLS W.O.R.K.S.

MLS W.O.R.K.S. is Major League Soccer's community outreach initiative dedicated to addressing important social issues affecting young people and serves as a platform for League and club philanthropic programs.  MLS W.O.R.K.S. seeks to establish Major League Soccer as a leader for improving the lives of people through sport. For more information visit the website at