About Matt Lampson
Now in his ninth year as a professional goalkeeper, now with the Columbus Crew in Major League Soccer, Matt Lampson is determined to make the most of his second chance at life.
On June 10, 2007, one week after graduating from high school, Lampson was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Instead of fighting for playing as a freshman at Northern Illinois University, Lampson remained in Ohio and fought to survive.
After months of chemotherapy treatments that caused him to lose his hair and put on 80 pounds, Lampson was declared cancer-free on September 24, 2007. The life-or-death experience had a profound impact on his worldview.
Applying the same fight and determination that was vital to his cancer fight, Lampson worked his way back into playing shape and transferred to Ohio State University, where he quickly became one of the top goalkeepers in the Big Ten. He was named co-Freshman of the Year in 2009 and was a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2010. In December 2011, Lampson signed a professional contract to become just the second Homegrown player in Columbus Crew SC history. Playing for the team he grew up watching, Lampson made the most of his opportunities on the field, compiling a .600 winning percentage between the pipes in his first two MLS seasons.
Knowing that life is about more than just soccer, the Central Ohio native is determined use his journey to make an impact off the field as well. He frequently visits young cancer patients in the hospital because he has known the experience of being the patient in the bed, not the special guest sitting next to it. He remembers what those visits meant to him while he was sick, saying, “They provided a hope, a happiness, and a way to escape the mostly daunting tasks that I was forced to endure in order to save my own life during treatment.”
In 2013, Lampson was named the spokesperson for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Central Ohio, as well as the honorary co-chair of the 15th annual Light the Night Walk. He served as the keynote speaker at the event, and his Team LampStrong raised over $15,000 for LLS research. Also in 2013, Lampson began hosting a LLS Hero after each Crew SC home game, where a young blood cancer patient not only attends the soccer match, but also comes down onto the field after the game for photos and autographs.
In 2014, Lampson began working with local LLS chapters around the country to expand the Hero program to also include away games. “I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting each and every Hero,” Lampson says, “and I cannot wait to meet even more.”
As both a professional athlete and a blood cancer activist, Lampson is determined to give all that he has to give, and he hopes that he can inspire others to make a difference with the second lease on life that they’ve earned.
“I have been extraordinarily passionate to show what current and former cancer patients can accomplish as long as they take that same drive and desire shown in the fight for their life, and implement it in their everyday lives.”
In 2014, Lampson formed the LampStrong Foundation to provide a central focus to his activist endeavors
After four seasons in Columbus, Lampson signed with the Chicago Fire on February 26, 2016 after an impressive showing as a trialist during the preseason camps. Lampson started the first nine games of the season and recorded a 412 minute long shutout streak, the longest in Fire history. While in Chicago, Matt was able to partner with Lurie's Children's Hospital through the LampStrong Foundation.
In 2018, Lampson was traded to Minnesota United FC. He continued his tireless efforts to grow the LampStrong Foundation and spread his message of hope in to the Twin Cities through his work with the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital.
On December 20, 2018, the LA Galaxy selected Lampson in the MLS Re-entry Draft. During his time in LA, Matt was able to work with the Children's Hospital of LA Foundation and the LampStrong Foundation to impact many Cancer Patients in Southern California by supporting their AYA programming for adolescent Cancer Patients and Survivors.
Matt is returning to his hometown and first professional club, the Columbus Crew, in 2020 and hopes to continue to support the mission of the LampStrong Foundation where it was founded in Ohio again.