FC Dallas Midfielder Receives Honors
Major League Soccer has named FC Dallas midfielder Ryan Hollingshead the 2017 MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year, presented by AdvoCare.
The 26-year-old put his career and his life on the line to help a stranger in need. On January 6, an icy night in Irving, Texas, Hollingshead was in route to help a friend who had been in a car accident, when he drove by the site of a separate accident. A car had hit the highway median and the passenger was left stranded in the fast lane at dusk without headlights.
Hollingshead pulled over and got out of his car to offer assistance, when he was thrown 30 feet after being struck by an oncoming automobile, breaking three vertebrae in his neck. One hundred and twenty-eight days later, Hollingshead ran onto the field at Toyota Stadium as a second half substitute for FC Dallas and received a standing ovation as he helped his team secure a 1-1 result against NYCFC. He finished the season with 19 appearances for FC Dallas, including nine starts.
For coverage of Hollingshead's journey from this accident, click here: https://www.fcdallas.com/hollingshead2017
Along with goalkeeper Chris Seitz, who was named the 2012 MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year after foregoing the remainder of his 2012 season to donate bone marrow to a stranger in need, FC Dallas has now had two players receive the award in six years.
“Our clubs, partners and supporters are committed to making a difference in our communities and we’re proud to have players across the League who play such a vital role in those efforts,” said JoAnn Neale, Chief Administrative and Social Responsibility Officer, Major League Soccer. “Ryan’s selfless act exemplifies a true humanitarian. As the 2017 MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year, it is an honor to recognize that type of sacrifice and dedication to the Dallas community.”
Hollingshead was selected by FC Dallas with the 20th (2nd round) overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft. Despite being drafted, the PAC-12 Player of the Year and UCLA captain decided to fulfill a promise to his brother Scott to help build a church, the Harvest Bible Chapel in his native city of Sacramento instead of joining FC Dallas.
After a year away from the game, Hollingshead joined FC Dallas and made his professional debut on May 31, 2014, appearing in 11 MLS matches that season. Hollingshead had a breakout season in 2015 and saw continued success the following year appearing in 62 regular season matches for FC Dallas during that two-year span.
The California native is very active in his community and church. Since joining FC Dallas, Hollingshead has worked with the Jessie Rees Foundation, Never Ever Give Up visiting patients at the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas to offer his support and motivation through his faith and the game of soccer. Additionally, Hollingshead regularly speaks to the Student Ministry at Frisco Bible Church and volunteers at The Village Church men’s and children’s bible study groups.
"On behalf of AdvoCare, I am excited to congratulate Ryan Hollingshead, midfielder for FC Dallas, for being named this year's MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year," said Allison Levy, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for AdvoCare. "AdvoCare was founded on the principle of being advocates who care and strongly believes in taking the initiative to give back. We are proud to partner with MLS WORKS to present this special honor to Ryan who has gone above and beyond in exemplifying these qualities."
In recognition of Hollingshead’s humanitarian efforts, MLS WORKS will donate $5,000 to the charity of his choice. Hollingshead will participate in a Facebook Live (www.Facebook.com/FCDallas) today at noon CT.