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Timbers, Thorns to host charity match to benefit Ukraine

(Craig Mitchelldyer/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

The Portland Thorns announced Wednesday that, in conjunction with the Portland Timbers of the MLS, they will host a co-ed charity match to raise funds for Ukrainian children and families affected by the war.

The match will take place on Wednesday, April 27, at 9 p.m. ET, and will be a 60-minute full-field match, with players from both teams mixed into two rosters.

The match will be free to the public but the clubs are encouraging donations which will be matched up to $100,000 by the teams.

“Soccer is a universal and unifying sport, and as professionals, it’s important for us to use our platform for those in need and right now that’s Ukraine,” Thorns FC forward Christine Sinclair said in a statement. “This is something we’ve wanted to do as a club for years, and I couldn’t think of a better reason to pull it off now than to raise money for an important cause. A match like this is one of its kind and while this game will be entertaining no doubt, the focus is to provide relief for Ukraine.”

Proceeds will go to support UNICEF’s relief efforts on the ground in Ukraine. Those reserving tickets through SeatGeek will have the option to donate to UNICEF.

“UNICEF is working around the clock to ensure those most impacted by the war in Ukraine are reached with the support they need at this critical time,” said Michael J. Nyenhuis, UNICEF USA CEO and President. “More than 2 million children have become refugees since the start of this war and an additional 2.5 million children have been displaced. UNICEF is delivering critical, life-saving supplies as well as psychosocial support to these children and their families and the organization is so grateful to supporters like the Timbers, Thorns and their fans who are making this work possible.”

Timbers midfielder Diego Chara and Thorns defender Kelli Hubly will co-captain one team while Sinclair and Timbers midfielder Sebastián Blanco will captain the other. Ahead of the match, the captains will select their teams through a live draft.

Broadcast details will be announced ahead of the event, and it will be streamed on the club’s website.

This fundraiser comes after Stanford women’s basketball coach Tara VanDerveer issued a challenge for every 3-pointer made during the NCAA tournament. That fundraiser raised over $300,000 in aid for Ukraine.