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Former U.S. World Cup player Tony Sanneh credited with an assist in Pakistan relief effort

Tony Sanneh traveled the planet during his soccer career, starting for the U.S. national team in South Korea at the 2002 World Cup, venturing to Latin America and Europe for qualifiers and friendlies, moving to Germany to further his club ambitions with Hertha Berlin and Nuremberg after helping D.C. United reach the first three MLS Cups.

Less than a year since retiring, Sanneh is overseas again, this time for a humanitarian cause. He has joined other former players in Pakistan to assist with aid relief for those affected by catastrophic flooding.

"We give every family mats, flour, rice, bowls, pepper, water, water-purifying pills, coolers, cups, kitchen stuff as well as five or 10 other items," Sanneh, 39, told the Insider in an e-mail exchange from Pakistan. "A lot of the families have their stuff washed away so they have nothing. The extent of flood is pretty horrific. Our distribution is pretty organized but challenging. So much is flooded and pockets of housing are so small. We have to go by boat, not motorized, and carry all this stuff to island-like areas. Some have not even been helped by military yet and are running out of everything. There is nowhere to go but wait for help and hope."

For more details.....

Sanneh is a native of St. Paul, Minn., who ended his 16-year pro career with the Los Angeles Galaxy last season. His interests beyond soccer took hold in 2003, when he launched The Sanneh Foundation, which "provides positive environments for urban youth to become positive and productive adults. ... The cycle in urban communities of desperation and poverty calls for our continued vigilance in overcoming the hopelessness that can destabilize a community."

Sanneh's Pakistan mission began through his association with Global United FC, a loosely organized team comprising former players from around the world that emphasizes environmental issues. He then joined with Gift of the Givers, a South African-based disaster relief organization that is working in Pakistan.

The work is grueling, and at times, dangerous. The mood is particularly tense in Karachi this week after a Pakistani politician was stabbed to death in London.

"There are lots of guns, which makes me nervous time to time, especially when I say I am American because you never know their perception," he told me. "But so far everyone has been friendly."

By Steve Goff  | September 18, 2010; 11:12 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United, MLS, U.S. men's national team  
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Hard to imagine a classier goal created by classier players than Sanneh to McBride in the '02 WC.

Posted by: benonthehill | September 18, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Galaxy fans and DC United fans can agree that Sanneh is pure class. It might be the only thing we agree to.

Go Galaxy :-)

Posted by: LAfanofSI | September 18, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, I don't agree with anything that LA Galaxy fans have to say...

Posted by: alan19 | September 18, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Well done, Tony. Great stuff.

I agree, BotH. That '02 goal was outstanding.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | September 18, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Well done Mr. Sanneh.

IIRC, McBride said that they did that pass "thousands of times" with the Milwaukee Rampage.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 18, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

kudos to this organization and to Mr Sanneh. As already stated its a very classy move by Sanneh and the others involved. Especially given the political situation right now.

Posted by: mmsq | September 18, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse


You recall correctly. I miss the Rampage. Lurking, Bucky?

Posted by: benonthehill | September 18, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse


You recall correctly. I miss the Rampage. Lurking, Bucky?

Posted by: benonthehill | September 18, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Don't know about @1-270 but I was a huge Rampage fan and didn't miss too many games..even in the snow, if you remember the first game they ever played. As amazing as McBride and Sanneh were (they combined for 31 goals) the real star of that team was Joey Kirk (24 goals). He was the guy I wanted to play like when I was a kid. He had to be the most bizarre story out of that season, considering he was an incredible outdoor player but spent the rest of his career playing for the Wave and other indoor teams...of course back then the Wave were outdrawing the Rampage so the future of soccer appeared to be the indoor league.

Posted by: Southeasterner | September 18, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Dempsey with a magnificent header today, off a Mexican assist no less.

No DCU game thread?

Posted by: OWNTF | September 18, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Actually, I wasn't sure whether we would be getting any news before about 7:15 p.m.

Posted by: universityandpark | September 18, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Goff's profile of the Freedom's Becky Sauerbrunn in Sunday's driveway Post:

Posted by: universityandpark | September 18, 2010 11:05 PM | Report abuse

No, I'm not a Rampage fan. But I did live in the Twin Cities, home to Sanneh, Manny Lagos, and... ummm... Garrison Keillor.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | September 19, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Not to mention Briana Scurry, who, like Keillor, is a product of Anoka HS. Incidentally, Scurry got a second farewell ceremony in West Chester, PA earlier today, courtesy of the home team. That was really nice.

Posted by: universityandpark | September 19, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

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