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Soccer community comes out in force
January 7th, 2013 9:09PM

TAGS:  mls


[SOCCER NIGHT IN NEWTOWN] Almost 1,500 people turned out Monday night for an evening of soccer at Newtown Youth Academy. The draw was a bevy of current and former U.S. stars, including Landon Donovan and Mia Hamm, and the goal was to give children and their families a chance to forget -- for just a few hours at least -- the tragedy that struck the small Connecticut town last month.

The event was the brainchild of Houston Dynamo president Chris Canetti, who grew up in nearby Guilford, and Eric Da Costa, the men’s coach at Quinnipiac.

“The only thing we regret," Candetti told, "is that we wish we had a bigger place. There were just so many people that wanted to be a part of this.”

The support for the event started by word of mouth but it got the backing of MLS and its charity arm, and more than 40 MLS players took part to sign autographs, pose for photos and play with young players.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber canceled plans to attend the FIFA Gala Awards in Zurich to go to Newtown.

In addition, dozens of Connecticut youth coaches came out to help.

U.S. soccer stars in Newtown

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