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Audi of America and Major League Soccer have announced a league-wide, multi-year initiative to further elevate the game of soccer in North America by enhancing the on- and off-field experience at MLS Academies.
Launched during the MLS All-Star festivities, the partners unveiled a youth academy support program, Audi Goals Drive Progress, to help provide funding for MLS Academies. Audi will kick off the program by committing $5,000 for every goal scored during tonight’s game, $500 for every goal scored in the regular season, $2,000 for every goal during the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs from October 19 through November 10, and $10,000 for every goal scored during MLS Cup for up to a $1 million total commitment of funds in 2019.
With a focus on advancing the next level of soccer in North America, the Audi Goals Drive Progress program funding will expand the breadth of academy resources through contributions toward player education, housing, and transportation. As part of the education initiative, critical focus will be placed on off-field academics support through Audi Performance Centers, helping to ensure young players are supported to maintain excellence on the pitch and in the classroom. The objective of Audi Goals Drive Progress is to provide long-term benefits for academy stakeholders including players, the clubs themselves, and parents of the athletes.
Audi Performance Centers, located at select MLS Academies, will be equipped with a range of technology, as well tutorial and educational resources, to help enrich off-field academic development. One of the first Audi Performance Centers slated to open is Orlando City SC’s, in late summer of 2019.
“Soccer is on the rise in the US, and in support, Audi is committing to increasing awareness and helping develop world-class training facilities for the next generation of soccer stars,” says Loren Angelo, Vice President of Marketing for Audi of America. “Our mission is to help enable the professional pursuit of young athletes and, in turn, help create the highest caliber of play to delight fans. Our multi-year Audi Goals Drive Progress program with MLS will offer an holistic approach to MLS Academy programs by supporting the growth of soccer as well as driving individual progress both on and off the field for athletes of the future.”
Todd Durbin, MLS Executive Vice President, Competition and Player Relations, adds, “Audi has been an invaluable supporter of Major League Soccer and our clubs since 2015, and this new initiative to support MLS Academies is extraordinary. A forward-thinking partner, Audi recognizes the value of collaborating with MLS in advancing the game across North America. We look forward to working with Audi to positively impact the next generation of soccer players for many years to come.”
Soccer legend, ESPN commentator, and champion of the sport Taylor Twellman joins Audi and MLS in his support as ambassador for the Audi Goals Drive Progress program. He says, “Youth soccer development in North America has been a real passion point for me since my playing days and I truly believe that MLS Academies can be the focal point of our sport in North America. It’s essential that they up their game to help ensure the homegrown players are competitive at the highest levels for years to come, so I’m excited to work with Audi and MLS to help raise awareness for their new program.”
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