PHILADELPHIA– The 2018 season of the Philadelphia International Unity Cup (Unity Cup), presented by Goya Foods, will officially come to a close with a fun-filled day of free events leading up to the Championship game on Saturday, October 13 at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania. The Unity Cup, a World Cup style tournament, is one of Mayor Jim Kenney’s signature initiatives that celebrates the city’s rich cultural diversity and focuses on the international appeal of soccer.
“The Unity Cup tournament is near and dear to my heart,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “At its core it represents the great diversity of our city as well as Philadelphia’s growing affinity for soccer, which is beloved all around the globe. I hope everyone can join us on Championship Game Day and see these incredible teams in action.”
The Unity Cup Championship Game Day will offer free, family-friendly fun. Pre-game festivities will include a youth soccer game, youth soccer clinics, and bounce houses and inflatables for children. Activities begin at 12 p.m. with the final showdown starting at 5 p.m. There will be many ways to get to the stadium including free shuttles and public transportation options. Parking and attendance to the game will be free, so Philadelphians are encouraged to come out and enjoy a day of family fun and great soccer.
The Unity Cup has steadily grown in popularity since its inception in 2016. This year’s tournament welcomed 11 new teams representing the following countries: Albania, England, Spain, Belize, El Salvador, Peru, Mali, Gambia, Guinea, Saudi Arabia, and Kenya. Along with their veteran counterparts, a total of 52 teams played in more than 104 games this season. The tournament has grown from 32 teams in 2016, to 48 teams in 2017, and 52 teams this year.
“We are honored to be the presenting sponsor of the Philly Unity Cup, a tournament that highlights the most popular international sport and brings together people of different cultures and backgrounds across Philadelphia,” says Rafael Toro, Director of Public Relations of Goya Foods. “I know the 2018 tournament will be an exciting championship match to watch, and we’re excited to be a part of it!”
With 52 teams participating this year, the Unity Cup was larger than ever with intense games played every weekend in August through September across the entire city. The championship game is sure to be an action-packed event with two previous champions facing off for the final victory. The schedule for the day of events is as follows:
- 11 a.m.: Gates open
- 12 p.m.: Youth game
- 1 p.m.: Third place game: United States vs. Ireland
- 3:30 p.m.: Naturalization ceremony
- 4 p.m.: Parade of Nations
- 5 p.m.: Championship game: Liberia vs. Ivory Coast
- 7 p.m.: Awards ceremony
“Our partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Philadelphia Unity Cup has proven to be a perfect fit, blending the diversity and multiculturalism of our region with a common love for soccer,” said Tim McDermott, Philadelphia Union Chief Business Officer. “As the hub of soccer in the area, Talen Energy Stadium is the perfect place to host the final and the third place game, as well as the cultural celebration that makes this event so powerful. All of us at Philadelphia Union would like to congratulate the participants, and we are looking forward to the games on October 13.”
This is a family-friendly event that is free and open to the public. Tickets are required to enter the stadium. Tickets are free and can be obtained through the following ways:
- Advanced tickets: Free tickets can be mailed or delivered before game day (Saturday, October 13), by completing the ticket request form by Friday, October 5.
- Day-of tickets: Tickets will also be available the day of the event; visit the Unity Cup ticketing table outside at Talen Energy Stadium (near our sponsor activities) before entering on game day, between 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
There are several easy, convenient ways to get to Talen Energy Stadium. Options include:
- Public transportation: SEPTA Wilmington/Newark Regional Rail line to the 114, 117, or 119 bus routes. There will be a complimentary shuttle bus from Chester Transportation Center to the stadium.
- Free shuttle bus: Unity Cup shuttle buses will have free pickups from recreation centers around Philadelphia. Buses will depart each site at 3 p.m. and return to the same location at 8 p.m.* If you have not received free tickets already, game tickets will be distributed on the bus. Pick-up locations are:
- James Finnegan Playground (6801 Grovers Avenue, 19142)
- Ramp Playground (3300 Solly Ave., 19136)
- Olney Recreation Center (6001A St., 19120)
- Rumph Recreation Center (100 E. Johnson St., 19144)
- Murphy Recreation Center (300 W. Shunk St., 19148)
- LOVE Park (John F. Kennedy Blvd. & N. 15th St., 19102)
- By car: free parking will be available in lots B and C
For more directions and details, visit unitycup.phila.gov.
Goya Foods, America’s largest Hispanic-owned food company, has been involved with the Unity Cup since its inception. Goya Foods will serve as the presenting sponsor of the tournament for the third year in a row. With the support of Goya Foods, the Unity Cup has become a significant experience for players and spectators across Philadelphia.
“The Unity Cup championship game and cultural celebration is one of my favorite annual events,” said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. “Throughout the tournament I have witnessed the ability the Unity Cup has to uplift our city’s immigrant communities and rich cultural diversity, as well as the positive influence of sports-based programming. The 2018 tournament has kept us on the edge of our seats and I can’t wait to see which of these two amazing teams will be victorious.”
MEDIA RSVP: Journalists wishing to cover the Unity Cup events on October 13 MUST RSVP to Alain.Joinville@Phila.gov no later than Thursday, October 11th @ 5:00 pm.
Media will receive credentials on site at media check-in. Media should enter at Lot B. Only media on the check-in list will receive credentials to enter the stadium, no exceptions.
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 Creative Economy, and the Managing Director’s Office.
This year’s Unity Cup sponsors include presenting sponsor Goya, Visit Philadelphia, 6abc, KYW Newsradio, Univision, Philadelphia Union, The Philadelphia Sports League, PFCU, Campus Philly, The Consular Corps Association of Philadelphia, Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer, Funtimes Magazine, Global Philadelphia, Heineken, the Independence Visitor Center Corporation and the CASA Soccer League. Learn more about the Philadelphia International Unity Cup.
Goya Foods: Founded in 1936, Goya Foods, Inc. is America’s largest Hispanic-owned food company, and has established itself as the leader in Latin American food and condiments. Goya manufactures, packages, and distributes over 2,500 high-quality food products from the Caribbean, Spain, Mexico, Central and South America. Goya products have their roots in the culinary traditions of Hispanic communities around the world; their combination of authentic ingredients, robust seasonings and convenient preparation make them ideal for every taste and every table. For more information on Goya Foods, please visit www.goya.com.
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation: (PPR) advances the prosperity of the city and the progress of her people through intentional and sustained stewardship of nearly 10,200 acres of public land and waterways as well as through hundreds of safe, stimulating recreation, environmental and cultural centers. PPR promotes the well-being and growth of the city’s residents by connecting them to the natural world around them, to each other and to fun, physical and social opportunities. PPR is responsible for the upkeep of historically significant Philadelphia events and specialty venues, and works collaboratively with communities and organizations in leading capital projects and the introduction of inventive programming. To learn more about Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, visit us at www.phila.gov/parksandrec, and follow @philaparkandrec on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Philadelphia Union: Philadelphia was awarded the 16th Major League Soccer franchise on Feb. 28, 2008 and the Union were officially named on May 11, 2009. Owned and operated by Keystone Sports and Entertainment, LLC, the group launched the Philadelphia Union’s inaugural season on March 25, 2010 and opened Talen Energy Stadium on June 27 of that year. Throughout the club’s history, the Union have reached the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final in 2014 and 2015, and have also reached the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2011 and 2016. In 2018, Philadelphia Union are celebrating nine years of top-flight action at Talen Energy Stadium, a soccer-specific stadium that has hosted internationally known clubs Celtic, Chivas de Guadalajara, Everton, Schalke 04, Aston Villa, Pumas UNAM, Stoke City, Crystal Palace, AFC Bournemouth, Swansea City AFC and Eintracht Frankfurt. For more information about Philadelphia Union, visit www.philadelphiaunion.com.