Crew winger Ethan Finlay will join the likes of Landon Donovan, Mia Hamm and a lineup of former U.S. Men's and Women's National Team stars and current MLS players for “Soccer Night in Newtown” on January 7 in Newtown, Connecticut.
Organized by Houston Dynamo General Manager and Connecticut native Chris Canetti in the wake of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting on December 14, the event will be exclusive to Newtown residents and members of the Newtown Youth Soccer Club. The families of Newtown will get to meet the players participating and play in small-sided games, helping heal the community from the tragedy.
As the Crew's lone representative, Finlay is honored to give his time to bring a smile to the residents of Newtown.
"It's a great opportunity to give some hours to try to help a community that has suffered a horrific tragedy," Finlay said. "I think it's kind of the least I could do. I'm not a staple in this League yet, but whatever I can do to provide help and comfort to the families and children affected, I'm willing to offer."
Entering his second season in MLS, Finlay is continuing to learn the impact he can have on people's lives as a professional athlete.
"It means a lot, and it means even more to be looked up to as a role model," he explained. "It really sets in when you're able to do these type of things. I'm looking forward to seeing the smiles on these kids' faces and talk with these families, people who are leading regular lives just like I was a year ago. To mean something more to them is really humbling and to represent the Crew, one of the original teams in MLS, is an honor. Hopefully I can do a good job of representing what we stand for in the Crew organization and MLS in general."
Over 30 players will participate in the event on Monday afternoon:
Columbus Crew: Ethan Finlay
FC Dallas: Zac Loyd, Bobby Warshaw
Houston Dynamo: Corey Ashe, Brad Davis, Brian Ching, Ricardo Clark, Tally Hall
LA Galaxy: Landon Donovan, Sean Franklin, Rafael Garcia
NE 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
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, 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