Houston Wins Hometown Dynamo Charities Cup

Houston_Dynamo 150The MLS Houston Dynamo played Mexico’s CF Monterrey this weekend in the inaugural Dynamo Charities Cup friendly event. A crowd of 10,456 was on hand to see a Dynamo victory.

Dynamo COO Chris Canetti told MLSnet.com’s Andrew Ferraro that he wants the Dynamo Charities Cup to become an annual event that fans look forward to each season.

“We hope that both teams can provide a good match this weekend and kick off the Dynamo Charities Cup tradition where well into the future we will be able to bring an international opponent that will play a charitable match for our community,” said Canetti (MLS).

Miami’s Minority Soccer Development Planning Youth World Cup; Two Wizards Help Tour De Forks Benefit

In Miami, Adam Beasley noted the charity legends soccer game at FIU Stadium later this month. The match will benefit Minority Soccer Development, “which encourages underprivileged youths to play the game.”

Minority Soccer Development Director of Education Frank Perez: “We’re making a real, concerted effort to reach out to children most underprivileged. Soccer is played for free all over the world. Only here do you have to pay for it.” [Read more…]

Soccer: Sounders FC Partners with Nothing But Nets

Seattle Sounders

The Seattle Sounders FC have partnered with Nothing But Nets to launch a Bed Net fundraising campaign by inviting fans to make a donation at the March 28 Sounders FC match at the Xbox Pitch at Qwest Field. Fans contributed at ticket gates, the Pro Shop at Qwest Field or through soundersfc.com. Donations go directly toward the purchase, distribution and education about the proper use of a bed net, which can prevent malaria. The month-long campaign will culminate on World Malaria Day on April 25th. [Read more…]

Athlete Notes: Phelps in Poker Tourney; Gordon Auctions Suit; Robinson Hosts Soccer Event

Sunflower Children

U.S. Olympian Michael Phelps will be participating Sunflower Children’s 2nd annual Texas Hold’em Charity Benefit on November 21. Sunflower Children is a humanitarian aid organization that provides survival and development care for the forgotten children of the world (Sunflower Children).

If the Suit Fits: NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon donated the EA Sports NASCAR 09 firesuit he wore during the “Prelude to the Dream” celebrity charity late-model dirt race held at Eldora Speedway in June. The suit will go towards raising money for The Jeff Gordon Foundation.

While the firesuit auction is still ongoing, GoMotorBids.com President Pat Rainey noted, “Last year, Jeff auctioned off the helmet he wore in this race, and it sold for $20,000. His fans love seeing him return to his dirt-racing roots, and the fact that he does it so rarely makes pieces like this firesuit that much more valuable” (GoMotorBids.com).

Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood: Chicago Fire D Dasan Robinson held his first annual Dasan Robinson Soccer Tournament at a Chicago-area Boys & Girls Club recently. Robinson attended the first day of the week-long youth soccer event to kick things off. He served as a guest referee and spent time with the kids encouraging good sportsmanship and healthy competition. The winning team received trophies and medals. And the runner-ups received participation medals (Athletes for Hope).

Photo credit: Sunflower Children

Athlete Notes: Phelps in Poker Tourney; Gordon Auctions Suit; Robinson Hosts Soccer Event

Sunflower Children

U.S. Olympian Michael Phelps will be participating Sunflower Children’s 2nd annual Texas Hold’em Charity Benefit on November 21. Sunflower Children is a humanitarian aid organization that provides survival and development care for the forgotten children of the world (Sunflower Children).

If the Suit Fits: NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon donated the EA Sports NASCAR 09 firesuit he wore during the “Prelude to the Dream” celebrity charity late-model dirt race held at Eldora Speedway in June. The suit will go towards raising money for The Jeff Gordon Foundation.

While the firesuit auction is still ongoing, GoMotorBids.com President Pat Rainey noted, “Last year, Jeff auctioned off the helmet he wore in this race, and it sold for $20,000. His fans love seeing him return to his dirt-racing roots, and the fact that he does it so rarely makes pieces like this firesuit that much more valuable” (GoMotorBids.com).

Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood: Chicago Fire D Dasan Robinson held his first annual Dasan Robinson Soccer Tournament at a Chicago-area Boys & Girls Club recently. Robinson attended the first day of the week-long youth soccer event to kick things off. He served as a guest referee and spent time with the kids encouraging good sportsmanship and healthy competition. The winning team received trophies and medals. And the runner-ups received participation medals (Athletes for Hope).

Photo credit: Sunflower Children

ESPN Profiles Soccer Star Hilgenbrinck’s Obedience to Enter Priesthood

ESPN.com Kieran Darcy profiles former pro soccer player Chase Hilgenbrinck’s transition from soccer to the priesthood.

Darcy: “Chase realized that while he was fulfilling his dream of being a professional soccer player, he didn’t actually feel fulfilled. He wondered if he was meant to do something else with his life. Eventually, Chase came to a startling conclusion, at least to himself: ‘I felt that [God] was calling me to the priesthood.'”

Hilgenbrinck, on leaving his soccer career: “You know, why don’t I wait until the end of my [soccer] career, and then I’ll say yes? But it’s funny, I was reading this book while I was going through this process. I came across this line: ‘Delayed obedience is disobedience.’ And that hit me. I was like, I’ve got to do the right thing. I can’t tell God to wait on me.”

Chase Hilgenbrinck: From Soccer to Priesthood (5:47)

Hilgenbrinck added, “I don’t have any regrets. I look at the priests around me. I look at the older guys in the house that are about to be priests. And in my heart, I genuinely want what they have. There was a time, three years ago, that this was the last thing I wanted for myself. Now it’s the only thing I want” (ESPN.com, 10/23).

Video published to ESPN.com: October 22, 2008

Houston Dynamo Using Three-Game Homestand to Help Hurricane Relief

In Houston, Bernardo Fallas reported that the Houston Dynamo “will use part of their upcoming homestand to raise funds for Houston- and Galveston-area youth soccer clubs affected by Hurricane Ike.” For the three-game set, which begins October 12, the Dynamo “will partner with nonprofit soccer organizations including the South Texas Youth Soccer Association to collect equipment and money for affected clubs.”

Dynamo COO Chris Canetti: “”It is our hope that by helping kids to return to the soccer fields, we can play a part in bringing things back to normal” (Houston Chronicle, 9/26).

Steve Nash, Claudio Reyna Organize Charity Soccer Game in Manhattan’s Chinatown

In New York, Joshua Robinson reported that Phoenix Suns G Steve Nash and Red Bull New York MF Claudio Reyna last month “collaborated to bring together a collection of their friends from the worlds of professional soccer and basketball to raise money for their respective foundations.”

Robinson added that there were “throngs of people who were packed into, around and over a tiny field in Manhattan’s Chinatown.” People “climbed trees, fences and streetlights as the shadows lengthened through the balmy evening. … They seemed to hardly believe they were watching a playground full of sports stars just fooling around.”

Reyna: “We had it completely wrong in terms of the excitement. We knew people were going to come out, but we just couldn’t believe it when we showed.”
In addition to Reyna, international soccer stars to participate included Thierry Henry, Jozy Altidore, Gregg Berhalter, Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler and Salomon Kalou. Joining Nash from the NBA were L.A. Clippers G Baron Davis, Dallas Mavericks G Jason Kidd, Phoenix Suns G Leandro Barbosa and G Raja Bell (New York Times, 6/26).

The event benefited the Steve Nash Foundation and the Claudio Reyna Foundation.

No Bull: MLS Team Touts Celebrity Game, Charity Link

Red Bull New York has announced that a celebrity game will be among the pre-match festivities as the team opens its 2008 MLS season against the Columbus Crew on Saturday, April 5 at Giants Stadium. The celebrity game will feature notable celebrities from the worlds of soccer, football, television, movies, radio, and modeling. The Red Bulls will donate a portion of each game ticket sold to the Worldwide Children’s Foundation of New York and the Books for Kids Foundation (Red Bull New York).