In another fantastic way to demonstrate their commitment to the Puerto Rican community, the NASL playoff-bound Puerto Rico Islanders have announced they will dedicate their final two home games to children born with autism and breast cancer survivors.
On Sept. 21, the Islanders will face FC Tampa Bay. The money earned from ticket sales that evening will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation as a demonstration that the Islanders support its mission to raise awareness about breast cancer to the Puerto Rican population.
Prior to their Sept. 21st match, the Puerto Rico Islanders will honor the children who are born with autism when they face the best team in the NASL, the Carolina RailHawks, on Saturday, Sept. 17. That is the same day that the nonprofit foundation for children with autism Golitos is officially inaugurated.
"Golitos is intended to contribute to the full physical, social and emotional development of children with Autism provided by football sports therapy through structured training sessions. The programs have been developed by a wide network of professionals with expertise in Autism and, of course, soccer savvy," said foundation founder Omar Alvarez, who is father to six-year-old twins Darius and Lawrence, both born with Autism.
The foundation is responsible for educating these children through the structure and discipline that the sport requires. Along with the curriculum, Islanders players will continually visit the practice field where these children as part of this project where they will play a role in making sure the model is implemented as accordingly.
In addition to honoring children born with autism, they're also going to honor an individual who may possibly the father of Puerto Rican soccer, Juan "Saso" Tulier. Personally, finding out that Saso is going to be honored has brought a smile to my face.
The fact that I've known about his contributions and role in promoting soccer in Puerto Rico before today makes this news even more gratifying. To learn more about Saso, please read my article "Puerto Rico Begins Its Quest for the FIFA 2014 World Cup."
It's good to see that Puerto Rico's soccer boom has also become a platform to raise awareness of a variety of causes that needs our support in the beautiful island. For the time being, there isn't a better soccer club that can raise awareness in Puerto Rico than the Islanders.
Cesar Diaz covers soccer for LatinoSports.com. He also writes for 5 Points Press & USSoccerPlayers.com, your source for American Soccer news brought to you by members of the U.S. national team. Easily accessible, you may reach Cesar at email@example.com and at Twitter at @CoveringSoccer.