“The excitement, camaraderie, and showmanship I witnessed during last year’s tournament was inspiring. I can’t wait for this season to get started,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The Unity Cup reflects the city’s welcoming spirit and I’m proud to have the support of our corporate partners – Goya, PECO, Philadelphia Union, and others – as it shows shared values in promoting diversity and connecting with our immigrant communities.”
One of the new teams this year is the Refugee team, comprised of refugees who arrived in Philadelphia within the last two years, which is supported by the Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia. The inspiration to create the Unity Cup Refugee team came from the Refugee team that competed during the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Goya Foods, America’s largest Hispanic-owned food company, will again serve as the presenting sponsor of the tournament. With the support of Goya Foods, the Unity Cup has become a significant experience for players and spectators across Philadelphia.
“Goya is proud to be a part of the Unity Cup for the second year and to celebrate the diversity of this great city through soccer,” said Rafael Toro, Director of Public Relations at Goya Foods. “It’s great to see players and fans of all ethnicities come out to support their teams and their communities with such passion and energy.”
The opening weekend of the tournament features more than twenty games including: Ukraine vs. Brazil at Ramp Playground in the Holmesburg neighborhood and the Refugee Team vs. Italy at the South Philly Supersite. The full schedule can be found at unitycup.phila.gov/schedule/.
“We are so excited to kick off the second season of the Unity Cup,” said Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. “Last year’s tournament successfully brought many different neighborhoods and cultures together at our parks and recreation facilities, and we’re thrilled to bring this free tournament to soccer fans throughout the city.”
On September 23, the Unity Cup will host a block party before the Mexico vs. Ireland game. The block party will be held at Marconi Plaza at 13th and Bigler, and the Mexico v. Ireland game will take place at the South Philly Supersite.
The tournament will continue every Saturday and Sunday until the championship game at Lincoln Financial Field on November 11 which will be broadcast live for the first time on KYW Newsradio. The championship game will feature a festival-style tailgate party outside the stadium and a parade of nations with all forty-eight teams before kickoff.
The Philadelphia International Unity Cup is managed and organized by Philadelphia Parks & Recreation in partnership with the Office of Immigrant Affairs, the Office of the City Representative, the Office of Arts & Culture, and the Office of Community Services.
This year’s Unity Cup sponsors include presenting sponsor Goya, PECO, 6abc, KYW Newsradio, Philadelphia Union, The Philadelphia Sports League, The Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer and the CASA Soccer League.