NEW YORK (April 2, 2013) - U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati today presided over the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange to officially kick off Centennial Week, which will include a number of activities commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the organization's charter, signed in New York on April 5, 1913.
Gulati was joined at the conclusion of today's trading by current U.S. Women's National Team midfielder Carli Lloyd, National Soccer Hall of Fame member and former U.S. Men's National Team star Jeff Agoos, and New York Red Bulls General Manager Jérôme de Bontin.
Not only was U.S. Soccer present in the market today, the market itself finished with record numbers. According to CNBC, both the Dow and S&P 500 both closed at record highs.
Members and friends of U.S. Soccer also attended the closing bell and joined the celebration by sharing with traders Centennial scarves, balls, pins and other items to help turn the historic floor of the NYSE into a hotbed of U.S. Soccer. The NYSE presented Gulati and U.S. Soccer with a commemorative coin prior to the closing.
"Closing daily trading at the world's financial market, with so many eyes upon us both here in the U.S. and internationally, is a unique honor for U.S. Soccer," said Gulati. "The birthplace of our federation is New York, so we wanted to be here this week to commemorate 100 years. On behalf of our membership and everyone who has contributed to our success over the past century, we would like to thank the New York Stock Exchange for providing us with the opportunity to begin our celebration."
U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, along with many of U.S. Soccer's most recognizable and accomplished former players, including Alexi Lalas, Cobi Jones, Michelle Akers, April Heinrichs, Walter Bahr and Tab Ramos, will also be in New York to celebrate U.S. Soccer's Centennial.
The Centennial celebration truly began Friday, March 22, when the U.S. Men's National Team debuted vintage jerseys - produced by Nike and inspired by U.S. Soccer's original 1913 design - in a 1-0 win against visiting Costa Rica in a 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying match. The men wore the jerseys again this past Tuesday against rival Mexico, where the team earned a valuable point in a 0-0 draw.
After Centennial Week, fans can look forward to more Centennial events throughout 2013, including a unique celebration on June 2 when the U.S. Men's and Women's National Teams will both play matches back-to-back live on the ESPN family of networks. The U.S. Men will take on Germany at 2:30 p.m. ET at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., live on ESPN2, WatchESPN and UniMas, while the U.S. Women take on Canada at 4:30 p.m. ET at BMO Field in Toronto, live on ESPNews.
The Centennial celebration will continue throughout the year at all Men's and Women's games, including the MNT's four remaining FIFA World Cup home qualifying matches in Seattle (June 11), Salt Lake City (June 18), Columbus (Sept. 10) and Kansas City (Oct. 11).
Make sure to follow U.S. Soccer via Twitter @ussoccer and on Facebook for new updates directly from New York City. U.S. Soccer is encouraging everyone to be part of the celebration on Twitter @ussoccer by using the hashtag #100Years