Tiger Soccers Scores for Haiti Earthquake Relief

Men's Soccer Program Draws Record Crowd For "Kicks for a Cause" on Wednesday Night

The Tigers raised $2,918 for the American Red Cross' efforts in Haiti with "Kicks for a Cause" event

The University of Memphis men's soccer team packed the stands at Mike Rose Soccer Complex on Wednesday night with a school-record 1,584 fans as they put on the first annual "Kicks for a Cause" event featuring the main match between the Memphis men's soccer program and the Colaiste Ide prep program from Ireland. The Tigers and Colaiste Ide ended the match in a 0-0 tie despite a very highly contested match on the night.

The event was $2 to get into the gate with all proceeds going to the American Red Cross' disaster relief efforts in Haiti. At the end of the night the Tigers raised a total of $2,918.

"Everyone was really nice and very generous tonight," said John C. Thatcher, Regional Major Gifts Office for the American Red Cross. "We appreciate the support of Houston (High School), Memphis University School and the University of Memphis. On behalf of Red Cross, just thank you very much to everyone that contributed."

The night, which was to be focused on soccer at all levels, began with a match between Houston High School and Memphis University School at 5 p.m., on the main field at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex and concluded with the main match between the Tigers and Colaiste Ide at 7 p.m. At half four youth teams, all from the birth year of 1996, competed. Also at halftime, the back-to-back-to-back C-USA champion women's soccer team were presented with their 2009 C-USA Championship rings.

"It is fantastic to be able to raise as much money as we did tonight," said Memphis head coach Richie Grant. "The supporters did not let us down tonight. I thought it was a great match. I am just very pleased to be able to contribute to the Red Cross and their efforts. I am just really pleased with the outcome of the night."

The record crowd of 1,584 fans surpassed Memphis' previous high of 927 against Kentucky in 2007 by over 500 fans.

"We had some great people out here tonight," said a Red Cross representaive. "I had several people come up to me tonight and hand me $20 bills and I asked them for change and they said to keep it. The fans tonight were just wonderful."

Shawn Smith

University of Memphis

Athletic Media Relations Intern