Eight New England Revolution players will participate in MLS sponsored "Soccer Night in Newtown," on January 7, in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman massacred 20 first graders and six teachers with an automatic weapon on December 14.
Through "Soccer Night in Newtown," local families and children will meet MLS and U.S. national team stars, play in small-sided games and spend an afternoon thinking about the beautiful game rather than the horror of recent events.
Through MLS W.O.R.K.S., the charitable arm of Major League Soccer, 30 MLS players from 11 teams will participate in "Soccer Night in Newtown." U.S. national team legends Cobi Jones, Mia Hamm, Eric Wynalda, Tony Meola, Kristine Lilly, Alexi Lalas, Mike Burns and Christie Rampone will also feature in the program.
New England participants
Other MLS luminaries helping out are Houston Dynamo’s Brad Davis and Brian Ching, the LA Galaxy’s Landon Donovan, the New York Red Bulls' Kenny Cooper, and the San Jose Earthquakes’ Marcus Tracy, who grew up in Newtown and whose mother once taught at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Houston Dynamo president Chris Canetti, originally from Guilford, Conn. and alumni of Quinnipiac University, initiated the project. On the Monday after the shooting, Canetti got in touch with Eric Da Costa, head coach of the Quinnipiac's men's soccer soccer team. Da Costa reached out to youth soccer people in the area, including the Connecticut Football Club youth program, to help organize a benefit program to support the children and adults in the community.
The benefit is open only to Newtown residents and members of the Newtown Youth Soccer Club.