The Chicago Fire announced Friday that forward Chris Rolfe will be one of over 30 MLS players to take part in next Monday’s "Soccer Night in Newtown" to help the town affected by the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14.
Set up by Houston Dynamo President and Guilford, Conn. Native Chris Canetti, the event will also feature former Fire player Eric Wynalda as well as other U.S. National Team stars Alexi Lalas, Cobi Jones and Mia Hamm.
“When I saw the news, like everyone else I was shocked,” Rolfe told Chicago-Fire.com. “I don’t watch the news that much but I just happened to look at USA Today online when I woke up that day and saw the headline.”
Having become very good friends with Newtown native Marcus Tracy while the American pair played for Aalborg BK in Denmark, Rolfe immediately reached out to his former teammate (now with the San Jose Earthquakes) whose mother had once taught at the school.
“Before anything else I texted Marcus to see what was going on and I’ve seen first-hand the affect this tragedy had on him and his family. I really felt sad for everyone there and those involved. When I heard that Houston had this idea to have a soccer night I thought it would be a great idea to go down there and help as well.”
Open exclusively to Newtown residents and members of the Newtown Youth Soccer Club, the event will allow local families and children to meet U.S. and MLS stars, play small-sided games and talk about soccer.
“Hopefully it’ll be a nice event where the kids will come and it’ll help take their minds away from the tragedy that occurred there,” said Rolfe. “Even if it’s brief, if we can bring a little bit of happiness and joy to them during this time it’ll be well worth it.”