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Remember Joe Gaetjens

Whether or not you've heard the podcast with Lesly Gaetjens, the American version of this Beautiful Game is often criticized for not having a sporting history when, in fact, it has a very rich tradition. A final four appearance in the very first World Cup in 1930, a shot heard around the world in 1950. And to that end, it is important that we always remember the classic moments that have defined this sport's long trek from the wilderness to its recent success in South Africa. The never-quit American spirit we see today in the faces of Donovan, Dempsey and Howard are a part of a fabric reaching back to Bahr, Keough and Borghi as well as Patenaude, McGhee and Douglas.

The story of football in America finds its roots in the immigrants who brought the game with them. A sport of the people where a hardworking and honorable man named Joe Gaetjens would wear the colors of his adopted country and became a legend in the blink of the eye. Largely forgotten and often the subject of misinformation about who he was as a man and the terrible fate which he would ultimately endure, his resurgence as America's Forgotten Hero has captivated millions of football fans around the world as we learn about his life and celebrate his achievement as a giant killer on one glorious day, scoring the goal that beat world power England 1-0 at Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Which is why both Beyond The Pitch and the Gaetjens family have come together to register this petition to have the MLS Most Valuable Player Trophy named in honor of America's first World Cup hero. After 60 years, it's time that the game of football in America recognizes its greatest triumph to date and honors the people who built this sport through hard work, personal sacrifice and rising to the occasion. We see these same traits in our National Team today, and they are borne from the contributions of those who proceeded them.

By all means, register your voices by signing this petition and pass it along to football fans everywhere.

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Sign the Petition

Thank you for your signing the "Remember Joe Gaetjens" Petition. It is our expressed objective to collect your emails and comments as part of an ongoing campaign to demonstrate to the US Soccer Federation and America's top-flight professional soccer leagues that the history of this sport is something that must be recognized.

This is not a marketing effort. But please do include in your comments whether you attend US National Team, MLS and/or USL/NASL games and whether you've purchased their merchandise. These things are important to note when seeking an answer from a professional league and its federation.

1950 World Cup, Belo Horizonte

Joe Gaetjens

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