THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

MLS unveils special 2020 Official Match Ball ahead of MLS is Back Tournament

The 2020 MLS NATIVO XXV pulls inspiration from the first MLS ball in 1996 to celebrate the 25th MLS season. (Photo © Paul-Michael Ochoa / Major League Soccer)

Major League Soccer unveiled today Commissioner Don Garber’s ALL IN Challenge winner, Maria Dorso, will have her name replace his on the Official Match Balls for the MLS Is Back Tournament.

As part of MLS Unites, a league-wide platform designed to educate communities, entertain fans and elevate heroic efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, Commissioner Garber, in addition to several MLS owners, clubs and executives, participated in the ALL IN Challenge. Created by Fanatics executive chairman Michael Rubin as a way to feed those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, the ALL IN Challenge has raised nearly $60 million to benefit Meals on Wheels, No Kid Hungry and America’s Food Fund, which is directly benefiting Feeding America and World Central Kitchen.

Dorso, fan of the beautiful game, hails from Fairfield County, Connecticut and lives with her wife, Emily and daughter, Ella. First introduced to soccer when Ella began playing recreationally, Dorso recently declared her fandom of Orlando City SC. In addition to having her name replace Commissioner Garber’s on the Official Match Balls, she will also receive a V.I.P. experience for her and three others to attend the 2021 MLS All-Star Game.

The specialty match ball featuring Dorso’s signature will be featured in all matches during the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando. MLS clubs will be competing in the tournament at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida beginning July 8. The tournament, which will be played without fans in attendance, provides a compelling way for MLS to resume its 25th season. Group stage matches will count in the MLS regular season standings and the tournament winner will earn a spot in the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League.

The 2020 MLS NATIVO XXV pulls inspiration from the first MLS ball in 1996 to celebrate the 25th MLS season and kickoff a new decade of soccer in North America. Incorporating colors from the original MLS ball and identity, the bold, progressive NATIVO design is inspired by the past but very much built for the future. The ball is made of 100% water-based materials and print colors yielding the most sustainable design to date.

The bold designs feature on a ball that offers the same high-performance structure and panels as recent FIFA World Cup models, but with a unique ‘Hi-White’ material – allowing for better visibility on the pitch for players.

(Major League Soccer)