Sometimes there are things that are just more important than going to Switzerland and sitting through a FIFA award ceremony that has nothing to do with your league. MLS Commissioner Don Garber said he would be skipping the Ballon d’Or ceremony for the Soccer in Newtown night – a move that makes way more sense.
Garber sets the priority here and goes with the right call with a night in Connecticut.
All of this comes just a day or so after FIFA boss Sepp Blatter blasted MLS for it’s lack of progress.
Garber told SI.com’s Grant Wahl yesterday that he has invited Blatter to a MLS season opener later this year.
“Even against that backdrop, we have made tremendous progress over the last 17 years,” Garber said. “Interestingly, we’re probably recognized as being more significant in many ways here in the U.S. than we are in other parts of the football world because of some of those developments: three broadcast partners, every game televised in HD, amazingly strong corporate support, lots of new stadiums and a great fan base that has us now in the U.S. and Canada ranked third [in average attendance] among all of the major leagues after the NFL and Major League Baseball. Those are pretty remarkable developments and ones that we’re very proud of.”
The Soccer Night in Newtown was an idea that quickly came to fruition thanks to Houston Dynamo president Chris Canetti. It is a special event taking place on January 7 and is open only to Newtown residents and members of the Newtown Youth Soccer Club. Local families and children will be able to meet MLS and US national team stars, play in small-sided games, and spend an afternoon thinking about the beautiful game rather than the ugliness of recent events.
Zach 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, Hunter Freeman, 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
US Men’s Legends
Cobi Jones, Alexi Lalas, Eric Wynalda, Mike Burns, Tony Meola
US Women’s Legends
Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Christie Rampone