The Allstate Sugar Bowl Believes in Champions – Patrick Mullins
Photo Courtesy of the University of Maryland.
Few, if any, Louisianans confuse football and futbol. The gridiron version of the two sports is king in Louisiana and has been for the duration of the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s existence.
But Patrick Mullins said a passion exists in the Bayou State for soccer. In fact, more boys and girls compete in the world’s most popular pastime in Louisiana than do in American football.
That passion helped drive Mullins, a New Orleans native and Jesuit product, to the upper echelon of soccer. The 24-year-old was an All-American at Maryland in his collegiate playing days and is playing in his third year in Major League Soccer, now for D.C. United.
Mullins, a forward, is one of the all-time top soccer players from Louisiana. He excelled at the high school and amateur level before moving on to Maryland then the MLS. Among the many competitions Mullins played in was the Allstate Sugar Bowl Louisiana State Cup. His club squad, the Chicago Fire, captured state titles in the event from 2007-09.
His development at the club level was key, he said.
“High school soccer has some good memories for me with some success on some good teams,” Mullins said. “But the development I had at the club level, technically, tactically and physically as an individual player, along with the team, definitely built into my success.”
Mullins starred at Maryland where he was the two-time winner of the Hermann Trophy (2012 and 2013), given to the nation’s top collegiate soccer player. During his senior season, he had NCAA Division I highs of 19 goals and 46 points.
He was honored as the Outstanding Male Amateur Athlete of the Year in 2013 by the Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee, which is sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
After being taken 11th overall in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft by the New England Revolution, he played for New York City FC in 2015 and 2016 before spending three years with D.C. United (2016-18). He has played with the Columbus Crew SC (2018-19) and the Toronto FC (2019-2020).
“Patrick Mullins has ascended to the top of his sport and we believe Louisiana has many first-rate soccer athletes like him,” said Sugar Bowl CEO Paul Hoolahan. “That’s why we consider it important to sponsor Louisiana Soccer Association events. Likewise, we’re pleased to resume our sponsorship of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association soccer championships in 2017. We’re committed to improving the visibility for not only soccer but for all the sports the Allstate Sugar Bowl backs.”
Mullins’ success in soccer provides a blueprint and inspiration for rec league players in Louisiana who enjoy playing the sport.
From its earliest years, the Sugar Bowl Committee has been honored to provide opportunities for young athletes from around the country, athletes like Patrick Mullins. That’s because, at the Allstate Sugar Bowl, We Believe in Champions.
– Story by Trey Iles, December 2016; updated July 2020
The Allstate Sugar Bowl Believes in Champions
Champions have long defined the Allstate Sugar Bowl. The list of Hall of Fame athletes who have competed in the annual contest is staggering. But the list of champions extends well past the football game. Since its inception in 1934, the Allstate Sugar Bowl has given opportunities to young athletes in many amateur sporting events.
In late 2016, the Allstate Sugar Bowl published stories on five athletes who competed in Sugar Bowl events and then went on to excellence after their New Orleans’ experiences.
Feature No. 1: Derek Wolfe, Football
Feature No. 2: Bob Cousy, Basketball
Feature No. 3: Patrick Mullins, Soccer
Feature No. 4: Jemima Jelaget Sumgong, Road Racing
Feature No. 5: Janice Davis, Track & Field
This was followed by four additional stories in the fall of 2017.
Feature No. 6: Hal Sutton, Golf
Feature No. 7: Barbara Farris, Basketball
Feature No. 8: Julio Jones, Football/Track & Field
Feature No. 9: Archie Manning, Football
The spring of 2019 brought another segment of featured “Champions”:
Feature No. 10: Shaquille O’Neal, Basketball
Feature No. 11: Aleia Hobbs, Track & Field
Feature No. 12: Sean Tuohy, Basketball
Feature No. 13: Davey O’Brien, Football
Feature No. 14: Haley Moore, Golf