TUCSON - Real Salt Lake defender Chris Wingert has been focused on more than just training sessions and friendly matches this preseason – he’s also been devoting a lot of time to a good cause, helping West Jordan’s Alec “Mickey” McMorris raise money for a prosthetic leg after he had it amputated late last year.
Wingert and McMorris met in November while both were in the hospital. Wingert was recovering from a collapsed lung suffered in RSL’s playoff series against LA, and McMorris was admitted and had his leg amputated after he was involved in a car accident. Real Salt Lake Team Physician Dr. Andrew Cooper introduced the pair, who hit it off to the point that McMorris – an assistant football coach at West Jordan High School – had planned to attend MLS Cup 2013 in Kansas City.
Unfortunately, McMorris’ injury kept him in Salt Lake for RSL’s run to the final, but he and Wingert kept in touch through the offseason, with the pair teaming up ahead of the Claret-and-Cobalt’s trip to Tucson to sell these “Heart of a Lion” t-shirts, from which 100 percent of the proceeds will go to McMorris’s prosthetic.
They didn’t stop there, however. This past weekend, Wingert began auctioning off some very cool soccer memorabilia on his Facebook page, with the first item – an authentic Wingert jersey signed by the entire Real Salt Lake roster – going for $600 on Sunday. Many members of RSL have pitched in, donating signed gear to auction off for McMorris’ prosthetic. Bidding is currently ongoing for the second item, a U.S. Men’s National Team jersey and a pair of goalkeeper gloves signed by RSL ‘keeper Nick Rimando. Wingert will post new auction items on his Facebook page as they become available.
As is the case with the t-shirts, all of the proceeds from the auctions will go straight to McMorris’ medical bills. Those interested in helping McMorris pay for his prosthetic but unable to participate in the auctions or buy a t-shirt can donate directly to his fund via his personal blog.