As part of the 2017 MLS All-Star week, MLS WORKS -- Major League Soccer’s community outreach initiative -- and the Chicago Fire hosted an All-Star Community Day at Gage Park. MLS All-Stars including Dax McCarty, Johan Kappelhof, Greg Garza, Tim Howard and others joined MLS WORKS, the Chicago Fire, the U.S. Soccer Foundation and Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) in unveiling two new mini-pitches.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Chicago Fire General Manager Nelson Rodríguez were among those to speak at the dedication of the new spaces.
The mini-pitches will provide a safe and accessible place to play, while supporting local youth programming, including the Chicago Fire’s P.L.A.Y.S. Program. Additionally, SNHU awarded a full college scholarship to a deserving member of the local community as part of the dedication ceremony.
The MLS WORKS/Chicago Fire All-Star Community Day, facilitated by Chicago Fire Youth Coaches, also allowed community members to have an opportunity to participate in youth soccer activities presented by AdvoCare. The event also featured a free play zone with a soccer skills challenge, inflatables, games, music, food and more.
Following the official dedication, the new pitch featured the championship match from the MLS WORKS/Chicago Fire All-Star Community Day Youth Tournament, presented by AdvoCare, with teams comprised of Chicago Fire Juniors players.