The tragedy that was the events that took place in Newtown, Conn. still resonate not just in the tiny town that saw 27 people lose their lives in the most horrific way imaginable.
With that said, members of the Houston Dynamo, the Quinnipiac University soccer program and the Connecticut Football Club have organized “Soccer Night in Newtown,” a fundraising and memorial initiative designed to bring a "fan festival type event” in a continued effort to help lift the spirits of those affected by the Dec. 14 school shooting tragedy.
Houston Dynamo general manager and Connecticut native Chris Canetti organized the event, which now isn’t just limited to Dynamo players. Former greats like Mia Hamm and Kristine Lilly have agreed to take part along with a host of both former and current Major League Soccer players. In all, over 30 players and soccer personalities will travel to Newtown for the event.
Representing the Union and Philadelphia soccer region will be defenders Chris Albright and Raymon Gaddis who have committed to making the Jan. 7 trip. Albright declined to elaborate on why he agreed help, saying only: “I just want to be a part of it, without the fanfare.”
Gaddis did offer a statement, telling philadelphiaunion.com:
“I think it’s a really big deal to get involved with something that occurred such as this that has touched all people. I may not have been there or from that area personally, but it’s something that deeply affected me. I just want people to know that we cared about what took place in Newtown.”
The event is only open to the residents of Newtown but players will come from all over the country in an effort to bring joy to a town still stricken by unimaginable grief.
Here's the list of players scheduled to attend:
Zac Loyd, Bobby Warshaw
Corey Ashe, Brad Davis, Brian Ching, Ricardo Clark, Tally Hall
Landon Donovan, Sean Franklin, Rafael Garcia,
New England Revolution
Kevin Alston, Darrius Barnes, Ryan Guy, Matt Reis, Clyde Simms, Chris Tierney, Bobby Shuttleworth
New York Red Bulls
Kenny Cooper, Heath Pearce, Ryan Meara
Chris Albright, Ray Gaddis
Real Salt Lake
San Jose Earthquakes
David Estrada, Josh Ford
Brad Knighton , Omar Salgado, Matt Watson
U.S. Men’s Legends
Cobi Jones, Alexi Lalas, Eric Wynalda, Mike Burns, Tony Meola
U.S. Women’s Legends
Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Christie Rampone