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East Austin abuelo who maintains Tillery Fields for City of Austin honored by MLS

Ismael Guzmán is being recognized as one of 27 Community MVPs across the league, representing Austin FC.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: The video above was published when KVUE'S Jake Garcia first reported the story.

An East Austin abuelo received an outpouring of support earlier this year when KVUE's Jake Garcia first reported that he was single-handedly maintaining a soccer field.

Now, he's being honored by Major League Soccer. 

On Friday, Guzmán was recognized as one of 27 Community MVPs throughout the league for "making a positive impact" in his community.

The 27 "Community MVP" finalists, one per MLS team, receive charitable donations totaling more than $65,000, national and local recognition, a donation to a 501(c)(3) related charity, a customized Adidas MLS jersey and an MLS Adidas NATIVO 21 Official Match Ball.

KVUE's story on Guzmán was used as part of his submission to the league.

While the soccer field, Tillery Fields, falls under the responsibility of the Watershed Protection Department of the City of Austin, Guzmán has been maintaining it for the past decade because of his commitment to East Austin Soccer Club.

RELATED: 70-year-old East Austin abuelo tends to Tillery Fields for a decade without help from the City

He uses his personal lawnmower, his own money to pay for gas and picks up trash as well.

"If it weren't for Ismael, Watershed would mow this twice a year," a neighbor told KVUE back in September.

He's petitioned the city to install restrooms, trash cans and a walking path, though those efforts have been unsuccessful.

"I'm working for the kids. That is my passion," Ismael said. "Maybe now I can get help more help."


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