BOSTON (CBS) – New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis is known for making saves on the field, but it’s a save he made off that field that has earned him the 2013 MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year award.
The Boston Marathon Bombings had an especially personal impact for Reis, whose family was at the finish line the fateful afternoon of April 15. Reis’ wife was running for the New England Patriots’ charitable foundation, and the group was getting ready to greet her following the race.
Reis had been in front of Marathon Sports just minutes before the first bomb went off, but moved closer to the finish line with his son and brother in-law. When the first bomb went off, Reis’ father-in-law, John Odom, was among the thousands who were badly injured in the blast.
Reis immediately jumped into action to save the life of his critically-injured father in-law. He used his belt and jacket as make-shift tourniquets to stem the blood loss before first responders could attend to him.
Odom remained at Boston Medical Center for more than two-and-a-half months before being released to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. He worked as an outpatient at Spaulding for two-and-a-half more months before finally returning home to Southern California in September.
During that time, Reis did everything he could to help. He raised more than $125,000 for the John Odom Recovery Fund at his annual golf tournament in August, where Odom — still recovering and re-learning to walk — opened the tournament with the ceremonial first 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.”
Reis is the New England’s third humanitarian of the year award winner in the last eight years, joining former defender Michael Parkhurst (2006) and former midfielder Zak Boggs (2011).
The Revs netminder was undefeated on the field this season in league play, going 7-0-4 with a career-best 0.72 goals against average. Reis became the only goalkeeper in MLS history to go undefeated after making 10 or more starts, and his late-season play helped lead the Revolution back to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2009.
MORE SPORTS COVERAGE FROM CBS BOSTON