Reis voted MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis was voted the 2013 MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year today for his life-saving heroics at the Boston Marathon bombings, and his fundraising efforts on behalf of a very special victim, his father-in-law, John Odom.
Reis has been a mainstay in goal for the Revs for almost a decade, but on April 15, 2013, he made the save of his life when he saved his father-in-law’s life at the site of the first Boston Marathon bombing. Reis, who had been standing in the same place as Odom just minutes before, rushed back in to the blast site to tend to Odom, who lay critically injured feet from the initial blast site.
Using his belt and jacket as make-shift tourniquets to stem more significant blood loss, Reis curtailed Odom’s blood loss enough for first responders to be found and brought to Odom. Odom remained at Boston Medical Center for more than two-and-a-half months before being released to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, where he worked as an outpatient for two-and-a-half more months before finally returning home to Southern California in September.
In August, as Odom recovered from his life-threatening injuries and re-learned to walk, Reis raised more than $125,000 for the John Odom Recovery Fund at his annual golf tournament, where Odom opened the tournament with the ceremonial tee shot.
“Matt has always been a tremendous ambassador for our club, but his actions and response on April 15 really showed how amazing of a person he is,” New England Revolution president Brian Bilello said. “Matt has been our team’s humanitarian of the year the last three years for his fundraising efforts for various charities, but this year he absolutely deserves league-wide recognition from his peers, clubs around the league and media.
“Throughout his family’s ordeal with John, Matt balanced everything and continued to be an advocate for the bombing victims while being a leader for our team,” Bilello continued. “His stellar performance at the end of the season just reiterated what a tremendous impact Matt has for our club on and off the field.”
On the field this season, Reis was undefeated in league play, going 7-0-4 with a career-best 0.72 goals against average. Twelve of his 14 starts came after mid-August, and he is the only goalkeeper in league history to go undefeated after making 10 or more starts. His play helped lead the Revolution back to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2009.
The MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year is determined through league-wide voting of players, media and executive staff, and honors an MLS player who showed outstanding dedication to charitable efforts and serving the community during the season.
Reis is the Revolution’s third humanitarian of the year award winner in the last eight years as former defender Michael Parkhurst (2005-08) was the 2006 award winner for his cumulative work in his native New England community, and former midfielder Zak Boggs (2010-12) won the honor in 2011 for his cancer research at Boston Children’s Hospital.