Real Salt Lake defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe will join upwards of 40 Major League Soccer and U.S. national team players at “Soccer Night in Newtown,” a special event taking place on Jan. 7 in wake of the horrific school shooting last month at an elementary school in the Connecticut town.
The shooting hit close to home for Watson-Siriboe, who played four years of college soccer at the University of Connecticut. UConn is less than 75 miles from Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 children and six adults were killed on Dec. 14.
“We want to extend our love,” Watson-Siriboe told The Salt Lake Tribune.
“Soccer Night in Newtown” – which will only be open to Newtown residents and members of the Newtown Youth Soccer Club – was spearheaded by Houston Dynamo President Chris Canetti, a Connecticut native. Newtown families and children will be able to meet MLS and U.S. national team players, play in small-sided games and take their minds off the tragedy – if only for a few hours – at the event.
"Nobody expects kids to have to be looking over their backs. You expect them to be enjoying life and loving school," Watson-Siriboe told The Tribune. "We want to make sure we help them realize that they can still enjoy life and try to help put the devastation behind them."
A full list of the participating players is below:
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