Legends and current MLS players such as Mia Hamm, Cobi Jones, Alexi Lalas, Eric Wynalda and Landon Donovan are just a few of the players who have committed to playing Soccer in Newtown tonight as part of a grassroots ‘give-back’ effort started by Houston Dynamo president Chris Canetti.
On the Monday after the shooting, Canetti got in touch with one of the only people he still knew connected to the Connecticut soccer scene: Eric Da Costa, head coach of the Quinnipiac University soccer men’s soccer team. (Canetti is an alumnus of Quinnipiac.) Da Costa got the ball rolling, reaching out to youth soccer people in the area, including the Connecticut Football Club youth program, and suddenly things were in motion…What emerged — and has quickly picked up momentum — is “Soccer Night in Newtown,” a special event taking place on January 7 and open only to Newtown residents and members of the Newtown Youth Soccer Club. Local families and children will be able to meet MLS and US national team stars, play in small-sided games, and spend an afternoon thinking about the beautiful game rather than the ugliness of recent events.
Through MLS W.O.R.K.S., more than 30 MLS players confirmed their involvement, including Houston’s Brad Davis and Brian Ching, the LA Galaxy’s Landon Donovan, the New England Revolution’s Matt Reis, and the San Jose Earthquakes’ Marcus Tracy, who grew up in Newtown and whose mother once taught at Sandy Hook Elementary School…US national team stars, including Cobi Jones, Alexi Lalas, Mia Hamm, and Connecticut native Kristine Lilly, also quickly pledged to take part.
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