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NY Red Bulls to Participate in 'Soccer Night in Newtown'

MLS players will travel to town affected by mass shooting to show support for devastated community.

Members of the New York Red Bulls and Major League Soccer will travel to Newtown, CT on Monday to raise funds for the families affected by the tragic Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, league officials announced.

Soccer players will use the event to help raise attention, support and funding for these families with “Soccer Night in Newtown.”

The shooting, which killed 27 people, including 20 children, had an especially strong impact on San Jose Earthquakes’ player Marcus Tracy, who grew up in Newtown and whose mother once taught at the school.

Residents and members of the Newtown Youth Soccer Club have been invited to attend and meet professional soccer players including Red Bulls players Kenny Cooper, Ryan Meara and Heath Pearce.

“It’s hard to imagine what the families of the victims and the community must be going through at this time,” Pearce said. “Nothing we do can change the outcome of the events, but we will do whatever we can to support them and help in any way possible.”

The event will focus on banding together as a community and enjoying the game rather than focus on “the ugliness of recent events,” Major League Soccer said on its website.

In addition to a memorial, Newtown families and children will be able to play small games with the soccer players, including players from the Quinnipiac University soccer program and Connecticut Football Club.

“I'm looking forward to getting together with players from around the league and supporting the community of Newtown,” Cooper said. “Hopefully we can help put some smiles on their faces and have some fun kicking the soccer ball around."

The participating Major League Soccer players are:

Columbus Crew

Ethan Finlay

FC Dallas

Zach Loyd, Bobby Warshaw

Houston Dynamo

Corey Ashe, Brad Davis, Brian Ching, Ricardo Clark, Tally Hall

LA Galaxy

Landon Donovan, Sean Franklin, Rafael Garcia,

New England Revolution

Kevin Alston, Darrius Barnes, Hunter Freeman, Ryan Guy, Matt Reis, Clyde Simms, Chris Tierney, Bobby Shuttleworth

New York Red Bulls

Kenny Cooper, Heath Pearce, Ryan Meara

Philadelphia Union

Chris Albright, Ray Gaddis

Real Salt Lake

Kwame Watson-Siriboe

San Jose Earthquakes

Marcus Tracy

Seattle Sounders

David Estrada, Josh Ford

Vancouver Whitecaps

Brad Knighton, Omar Salgado

US Men’s Legends

Cobi Jones, Alexi Lalas, Eric Wynalda, Mike Burns, Tony Meola

US Women’s Legends

Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Christie Rampone

Glenn A. Scheyhing January 03, 2013 at 11:56 AM
I wholeheartedly approve. 1) It's great to have the "Bulls" represented by such fine players, and 2) it's also awesome that soccer/futbol is getting some great press recently in the U.S. media. Of course, we wish the reason for the MLS visit would never have happened, but the outpouring of care from the nation has been wonderful.
Daniel MacMahon January 03, 2013 at 02:06 PM
Is there a Summit connection to this story?
JAFO January 03, 2013 at 02:23 PM
Two questions: 1. What exactly are they raising funds for? It's been publicly stated from their mayor that these people don't need money or gifts. 2. Who is donating the money? My understanding is that only Newtown community members are invited to attend this "private" event. So are they donating to themselves?
coldfusion January 04, 2013 at 03:50 PM
Great to see the Red Bulls getting involved, they are a great organization and we love going to thier games in Harrison.
jr January 04, 2013 at 04:38 PM
i just dont get these internet trolls like JAFO. how can you possibly have anything but positive comments to make about this article. you dont think the kids will enjoy meeting and watching professional athletes? dont you think they can use some entertainment and something to take there minds off what recently happen? dont you thnk the mayor and town ok'ed this before the plans were finalized. a good friend of mine works for in the schools and coaches at sandy hook, he tells me the kids are extremely excited for this event. get a life JAFO, instead of criticizing others good deeds go do some yourself troll
clyde donovan January 04, 2013 at 09:41 PM
Are there anymore sports organizations who want to use the Newtown tragedy for public-relations purposes?

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