The Red Bulls signed a special player on Thursday to a one-day contract. Five-year old Irelyn Maloney of Brick, N.J., was signed by the Red Bulls, fulfilling her wish of being part of a soccer team. Maloney was presented with her own locker and jersey, and got to play a small game with the team after practice at the team’s training facility in Hanover.
“If she could play soccer every day, and every minute of every day, she would,” said Shannon, Irelyn’s mother. “She wears her cleats to school, she wears her cleats to the food store and to the doctors. She just absolutely adores it.”
Irelyn’s parents and four sisters were on hand to see her sign a contract with head coach Mike Petke. The Maloney family then got to see Irelyn’s locker and Red Bulls uniform, complete with a number 31 jersey to match her favorite player, Luis Robles.
To learn more about Irelyn and her family, or to see a list of upcoming events and fundraisers on their behalf, check out their Facebook page. You can also see photos from Irelyn’s special day with the Red Bulls..
According to Pro Soccer Talk, Irelyn Maloney is a New Jersey native who loves soccer but cannot play it with a team due a spinal cord injury that’s come as a result of a rare and horrible genetic disease called Familial Mediterranean fever. It is always heartbreaking when a little boy/girl can’t play the sport she loves because of a disease which is why these make a wish efforts by professional sports teams always get me teary-eyed. This will be one of the highlights of her life all because the New York Red Bulls took some valuable time out of their busy MLS schedule to make a little girl smile. Bravo New York Red Bulls! Now please excuse me as I go get more tissues.