What started out as a small idea Houston Dynamo president Chris Canetti came up with on a whim just days after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary quickly gained national attention. It became “Soccer Night in Newtown” – a town just 45 minutes from where he grew up in Guilford, Conn.
The U.S. soccer community's biggest stars, including at least one representative from each MLS team, were involved in the private event on Monday night. Their mission? To bring a smile to kids' faces, provide the opportunity to have a little fun, offer a diversion from the terrible realities they're facing in the community, provide a positive experience to last a lifetime, and provide the positive message that people around the country care and are feeling for them and feeling the pain with them.
From the tweets below, it was a night nobody in attendance will ever forget.
Thank you Newtown for allowing us to share time with you. You are an amazing community. #SoccerNightInNewtown— Mia Hamm (@MiaHamm) January 8, 2013
#SoccerNightInNewtown was amazing. The players were incredible. The families were appreciative. The scene was fun 4 all. We'll never forget.— Chris Canetti (@ChrisCanetti) January 8, 2013
Landon on #SoccerNightInNewtown: (1/2) "The opportunity to spend a few hours with the people of Newtown was something I'll never forget..."— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) January 8, 2013
(2/2) "... It was one of the best days of my life." #SoccerNightInNewtown— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) January 8, 2013
Talk about a city with faith, strength, and a love for community... A privilege to be in Newtown today. Loved it. #SoccerNightInNewtown— Ryan Guy (@Rmguy12) January 8, 2013
Amazing event here in Newtown, just finished up, glad to help and put smiles on everyone's faces #SoccerNightinNewtown— Sal Zizzo (@SalZizzo) January 8, 2013
All the soccer stars are here in one room being briefed by Commissioner Garber. Impressive showing. yfrog.com/mmizksfj— Chris Canetti (@ChrisCanetti) January 7, 2013
Nice start in Newtown. Breakfast w/ the Bacon family, who lost their beautiful daughter Charlotte. yfrog.com/g0a2cthj— Chris Canetti (@ChrisCanetti) January 7, 2013
Heading back to Boston after a great night with the Newtown community! Lots of love was present and smiles!— Kristine lilly (@KristineLilly) January 8, 2013
Mia Hamm is bringing smiles to many faces. yfrog.com/ny8r8gzj— Chris Canetti (@ChrisCanetti) January 7, 2013
Had a blast today interacting with the children in Newtown CT..glad I could be part of something so special— Corey Ashe (@CoreyAshe) January 8, 2013