As part of the 2018 MLS All-Star Week, MLS WORKS, the U.S. Soccer Foundation, and Target, Monday afternoon played host to an All-Star Community Day at Anderson Park. The event was to celebrate the opening of 10 new community soccer play spaces at eight sites across the City of Atlanta, part of the retailer’s $6 million commitment to build 100 soccer play spaces for kids and families across the country by 2020.
In addition to Target’s canine mascot, Bullseye, MLS All-Stars Brad Guzan, Josef Martinez, Michael Parkhurst, Graham Zusi, and a legend from Juventus (David Trezeguet) made an appearance for a clinic with the kids (legend Edgar Davids was also among the Juventus contingent).
Children from the YMCA and surrounding neighborhood groups participated in All-Star themed soccer activities, including games & skills demonstrations, free food trucks, giveaways, music and more. It was one of the best free community events I’ve seen in quite a while.
Remarks and comments were made from the following: Don Garber, Commissioner, Major League Soccer; Darren Eales, President, Atlanta United FC; William White, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Target; Ed Foster-Simeon, President & CEO, U.S. Soccer Foundation; Amy Phuong, Commissioner, Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation.
The official “first kick” was taken by the MLS stars along with a soccer team from the community. It was an extremely fun day with a DJ, free popsicles, free food trucks, and a free t-shirt station where you could custom make an All-Star keepsake with designs from Atlanta muralist Greg Mike. You can see more photos from the event here.
The MLS All-Star Game presented by Target will take place Wednesday, August 1, at 7:30 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Photo: Hakim Wright