Elhadji Diop ‘21 works 2018 MLS Cup Final

Elhadji Diop ‘21 works 2018 MLS Cup Final

Elhadji “L” Diop ’21 was able to work the 2018 MLS Cup Final, a 2-0 Atlanta United win over the Portland Timbers which took place at new Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

L Diop 2018 MLS Cup Final

Diop worked as a personal assistant to Sara Zelman, helping to coordinate the event by working with the event staff and managing transportation for over 75,000 people including invited players and delegations.

“I wanted to get more direct experience in events and, in general, working in the sports industry,” Diop said. “So I grabbed onto this opportunity when it was presented.”

The chance to work the Cup final came about from his previous experience of working the MLS All-Star game last August. Diop explained that the initial opportunity came about through professor Tom Stallings and the Rice University Department of Sport Management. Because of his past experiences, Diop was able to use his contacts to earn an invitation to work the MLS Cup.

“I enjoy watching soccer and love the Atlanta United team,” Diop, an Atlanta native, said. “So it was a great experience being able to work both the All-Star Game and the MLS Cup, especially since both were in Atlanta.

Regarding his future, Diop is pursuing three majors: sport management, managerial studies, and kinesiology. He intends to continue his growing relationship with the MLS by applying for its summer internship program in New York in 2019.

L Diop worked the 2018 MLS Cup Final

Max Boekelmann, a sophomore from Princeton, New Jersey, and is majoring in Sport Management.

(pic cred: Kaysie Tam, Rice '18)