Kansas City Wizards defender and UCLA soccer alumnus Jimmy Conrad was selected to receive the 2009 U.S. Soccer Foundation/MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year Award, along with Chicago Fire midfielder Logan Pause. This marks the first time that two players have shared the honor.
Conrad, who hails from Temple City, Calif., is an 11-year MLS veteran, five-time MLS All-Star and former MLS Defender of the Year. He transferred to UCLA from San Diego State and joined the team as a walk-on in 1996. By his senior season, he became a key member of the Bruin squad that won the NCAA Championship in 1997.
Conrad continues to be active in philanthropic efforts throughout the Kansas City area and is being recognized as an exemplary role model within the community for his involvement with local schools, youth organizations and MLS W.O.R.K.S. initiatives. He regularly speaks with students at local schools about teamwork and the importance of setting goals in presentations that he designed.
For a second consecutive year, Conrad served as a spokesperson for Athletes Against Autism and the Child Protection Center, actively partaking in efforts to raise money and awareness for the organizations. This season he participated in an appearance at the Kick It 3v3 Championships to raise awareness for the UN Foundation's Nothing But Nets campaign, and also raised funds for the campaign locally through autograph sessions in Kansas City.
Conrad also receives support for his philanthropic efforts from his wife, Lyndsey. While he is busy supporting community groups, Lyndsey, serves as the President of the Kansas City Wizards Wives Club. Their biggest project this season was a school supply drive at CommunityAmerica Ballpark called "Stuff the Bus." As part of the event, Conrad and his wife set up a soccer clinic for inner-city children with other MLS players. They donated school supplies collected during "Stuff the Bus" and spoke to the children about the importance of staying in school.
Conrad is the second UCLA alumnus to win this award, joining Chris Henderson, who was honored in 2004.