BOSTON (CBS) - Tuesday was signing day for 13 members of the 2021 New England Revolution Unified Team, as the Special Olympics Massachusetts athletes inked contracts and got their uniforms in front of Revolution Sporting Director and Head Coach Bruce Arena and President Brian Bilello.
"I know they've worked hard. And this is a great day to reward them for all their hard work. And you know we're going to wish them the very best as they start this season," said Arena.
"Anything that we can do to highlight how soccer is alive and well, how soccer impacts our community, how important soccer is to so many people in our community," said Bilello.
This is the club's seventh season of unified soccer, and after a year of virtual events, athletes expressed excitement at being reunited with teammates in person this season.
"I just like hanging out with the friends I make here and I like making new memories," said Revolution Unified team member Samuel Spinney.
"I'm looking forward to getting to know my teammates better through our practices that we have left and through our match next month and just to take advantage of this amazing opportunity that both the Revs and Special Olympics gives to us," said fellow team member Paige Veideman.
"I think that adds to the feeling of community, the specialness, the uniqueness of it, having everyone together live. Can't be better than that," said Josh Kraft, President of Kraft Family Philanthropies.
"The biggest thing we want to see is these kids develop great relationships among each other. They learn about the sport of soccer and they have a lot of fun," added Arena.
The Special Olympics Unified Match will take place at Gillette Stadium on September 18, following the Revs' match against Columbus.
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