MLS and Liga MX make a difference in local Atlanta community

Atlanta United's Tito Villalba holds a child over his shoulder as he plays soccer with him during a soccer clinic after the unveiling of a new refurbished soccer field. #atlutd #titovillalba #soccer #mlssoccer #campeonescup

ATLANTA — A partnership between Major League Soccer and Liga MX led to a refurbished soccer field at Sequoyah Middle School. 

MLS and Liga MX partnered with the Latin American Association (LAA) and Sequoyah Middle School in Doraville to give the students a renovated soccer field. The improvements to the field included new sod, soccer lines, new goals and donation of soccer equipment. 

The event began Monday afternoon with the presentation of a mural, painted by local artist Thomas Turner, to commemorate the participation of Atlanta United in Campeones Cup.

The mural featured an eagle on one side, Club America’s mascot, and the Golden Spike on the other and in the middle, a peach with a crown on top of it, because as many of us know, Atlanta United’s away jersey is called the “King Peach.”

Club America’s Paul Aguilar and Nicolas Benedetti celebrate with a child after he scored a goal during the soccer clinic Monday afternoon. Photo by Victor Tun

Also at the event, Atlanta’s Tito Villalba, Mo Adams and Andrew Carleton were present, as well as Paul Aguilar, Nicolas Benedetti and Carlos Vargas for Club America. 

After the unveiling of the mural and the new field, children who are part of LAA’s youth mentorship program had the opportunity to participate in a soccer clinic, with help from coaches from Soccer in the Streets and with Atlanta United’s and Club America players next to them. 

With the mural in the background, Atlanta United and Club America players took a picture with all the children who participated in the soccer clinic Monday afternoon. Photo by Victor Tun

“I’m very happy to be out here in the community and interact with a lot of the kids,” Villalba said. “This is a great opportunity for them to learn more about the sport of soccer, it’s been a while since I have been part of an event such as this one and it brings me a lot of joy.

Villalba also talked about tomorrow’s match against Club America and said, “We’re used to big games like this, we treat them all like finals. We know that the best team in the U.S. is playing against the best team in Mexico.”

“We’re playing at home, so hopefully we get the home support but I’m also aware that we have a lot of Mexican fans in the community but hopefully we can get a good support and the crowd will likely be mixed,” Villalba said regarding whether fans at Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be cheering for Atlanta United or Club America.

The Five Stripes will take on Club America Wednesday night at the Benz. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.

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