Major League Soccer has announced the finalists for the 2014 MLS WORKS Community MVP Contest presented by Wells Fargo. The Grand Prize winner, as voted by the fans, will be awarded a $10,000 donation for the charity of their choice and a trip to the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game in Portland.
Elisabeth Cardiello of Huguenot, New Jersey was named as the finalist for the award for the New York Red Bulls. All 19 teams in MLS have one finalist representing their club.
A long time Red Bulls/MetroStars fan and soccer player herself, something she attributes mainly to her father, Cardiello started the Sir Peter L. Cardiello Fund for Social Innovation at Wagner College in his honor after he passed away a few years ago.
“I feel like I grew up in the tunnel downstairs of Giant Stadium where I got to talk to my idols,” said Cardiello. “This is totally crazy because the charity that this is supporting is in memory of my dad who played soccer, got me into it, I played in college.”
“This is kind of his memorial game. It’s crazy and the whole thing just brought tears to my eyes.”
The award and scholarship is awarded to the graduating senior that has had the greatest impact on campus and in the community, as well as the student that displays a spirit of entrepreneurship.
Cardiello started a career in finance and has also been involved in a variety of entrepreneurial projects that range from real estate to co-working space to starting a specialty coffee company, Caffe Unimatic, Inc.
The memorial soccer game has brought the Staten Island community together for the past three years to raise funds and celebrate her father, a man who loved playing the sport and sharing that love by teaching the sport to the youth. The fourth annual game will take place on August 17.
Because of her efforts in putting together this annual memorial game in her father’s honor, Cardiello is up for the MLS WORKS Community MVP Grand Prize. Along with the chance to win $10,000 dollars, each finalist is guaranteed at least a $1,000 dollar donation for their charity as pledged by Wells Fargo.
“What’s so heartwarming for me is that the Red Bulls have been such a big part of my life forever,” said Cardiello. “I remember Mike Petke when he was nine, and now he’s the coach.”
“I missed my first three days of I think it was senior year of college because my family and I went to Tab Ramos’ Hall of Fame induction ceremony because he and my dad became really close.”
To vote for Elisabeth as this yeas MLS WORKS MVP, click here and help continue her efforts in the community.
Or you can tweet: I voted for the @MLSWORKS @WellsFargo #CommunityMVP Grand Prize winner. VOTE NOW #RBNY from 12:01 PM ET on Thursday, July 24 to Friday July 25 at 11:59 AM ET to send Elisabeth on her way to Portland.