TFC x Special O Roster

Toronto FC and Special Olympics Ontario Unveil Unified Exchange Roster

Toronto FC and Special Olympics Ontario announced today the 12-player roster that will compete in the 2019 Special Olympics Unified Sports Soccer Exchange Program in Toronto on Saturday, August 24. The team will face off against a roster of Special Olympics athletes from the Quebec area, chosen by the Montreal Impact and Special Olympics Quebec, with kick-off set for noon at BMO Field.

“We look forward to this event every year,” said Bill Manning, President, Toronto FC. “Toronto FC is proud of the athletes who represent Special Olympics Ontario and we enjoy supporting them in their efforts.”

            The Unified Exchange Program is the cornerstone of the Special Olympics Unified Sports initiative in partnership with Major League Soccer and ESPN that leverages the power of sport to promote an environment of social inclusion. Unified soccer teams, comprised of players with and without intellectual disabilities, travel from their home city to other MLS markets to compete in exhibition matches with their Special Olympics counterparts. Unified matches are scheduled in conjunction with MLS club matches, providing MLS fans with an opportunity to witness first-hand the talents and abilities of Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners. This past weekend, the Toronto FC Unified team held their first training session at the team’s BMO Training Ground. Prior to training, the athletes received customized Toronto FC jerseys and a special welcome from Ali Curtis, General Manager, Toronto FC.

“The relationships between Special Olympics Ontario, MLS and Toronto FC is really special,” said Glenn MacDonell, President & CEO, Special Olympics Ontario. “The unique opportunities provided to our athletes to take part in incredible programs and initiatives help us share a message of inclusion and acceptance. It also showcases the dedication of MLS and TFC players and staff to our mission of improving the lives of Ontarians with an intellectual disability through sport.”

As the Official Broadcaster of Special Olympics and the Global Presenting Sponsor of Unified Sports, ESPN is asking its partners, viewers, and sports fans around the world to take the “Choose to Include” pledge to help Special Olympics reach the goal of 7 million acts of inclusion and support ESPN’s mission to use the power of sport to inspire social change. Individuals can take the pledge by texting ‘MLS19’ to 51-555 or by visiting www.specialolympics.org/MLS.

2019 SPECIAL OLYMPICS ONTARIO UNIFIED EXCHANGE MATCH ROSTER

No.

Name

Position

Role

Birthdate

Hometown

12

Keeley Aird

Defender

Unified Partner

7/12/2001

Markham

17

Jordan Bartraw

Midfielder/Forward

Special Olympics Athlete

9/4/2000

Napanee

1

Bradley Bowen

Goalkeeper

Special Olympics Athlete

8/5/1997

Mississauga

16

Paige Fox

Midfielder/Forward

Special Olympics Athlete

9/19/2002

Napanee

4

Andria Katsios

Defender/Midfielder

Unified Partner

6/21/1994

Vaughan

11

Franck Koffi

Midfielder/Forward

Special Olympics Athlete

10/18/1995

Toronto

22

Ruby Lappin

Defender/Forward

Special Olympics Athlete

6/5/1997

Newmarket

26

Justin Massa

Midfielder/Defender

Unified Partner

1/2/1996

Toronto

10

Eddie Nicks

Midfielder/Forward

Special Olympics Athlete

10/1/1996

Mississauga

9

Emily Panousis

Midfielder/Forward

Unified Partner

1/11/1999

Toronto

19

Justin Tsang

Defender/Midfielder

Unified Partner

10/29/2003

Markham

31

Justin Williams

Defender/Midfielder

Special Olympics Athlete

3/1/2001

Ajax


 

About Special Olympics Ontario

Special Olympics is a global inclusion movement using sport, health, education and leadership programs every day around the world to end discrimination against and empower people with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1968, and celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 6 million athletes and Unified Sports partners in more than 190 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions throughout the year. Special Olympics is supported by individuals, foundations and partners, including Bank of America, the Christmas Records Trust, The Coca-Cola Company, ESPN, Essilor Vision Foundation, the Golisano Foundation, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, Lions Clubs International Foundation, Microsoft, Safilo Group, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, TOYOTA, United Airlines, and The Walt Disney Company. Learn more at www.SpecialOlympics.org.

Media contacts:

Nikk Kadbet, MLSE, Nikk.Kadbet@mlse.com

Alejandra Rueda, Toronto FC, ARueda@TorontoFC.ca

Jane Wheeler, Special Olympics Ontario, JaneW@specialolympicsontario.com