Scott Hutchison

What We’re Thankful For

2016 has been a pretty fantastic year for the beautiful game for fans here in the United States. From Copa America Centenario, to an exciting MLS season, more soccer than ever on television, and major international clubs playing summer friendlies here, soccer fans in the United States are spoiled.

Ahead of Thanksgiving, our team wanted to share a few moments of what we’re thankful for as it relates to soccer this year. It was an exciting year for our team and we’re looking forward to the holiday season and 2017. Enjoy!

Danielle Prior and Carly Samp

2016 was a year full of great soccer moments and experiences; whether it was an underrated Portugal winning the European Championship vs. France, Olympic soccer action, juggling with our clients at MLS stadia for a great cause, and still feeling like we can “keep up” on the soccer field, the list could go on.

One experience definitively stands out from the rest. We went to Europe this past October, in which we were able to see plenty of football culture. While we were on the Paris leg of our trip we visited our friends at Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). That day the team happened to be traveling for Ligue 1 action and we were able to get a private tour at the state-of-the-art Parc de Princes. Ever since we had worked with PSG the past two summer’s for the ICC we’ve been admirers of the Club, players, staff, and mascot :wink:–so being able to walk into the players’ locker room and step on the field was a real treat.

Further along in the trip we caught a Chelsea vs. Leicester match at Stamford Bridge and took this opportunity to troll Chelsea–we wore our PSG gear and certainly made some friends for being bold enough to pull this stunt. These experiences overseas are something we are truly thankful for and we’re already planning to see which clubs we can visit next year.


Matt Clay

As the newest member of the GESM Team I truly have a lot to be thankful for this year. First, is the opportunity to work with a great group of people who have embraced me as part of their stellar team.

When I think of soccer there are three things that I am thankful to this beautiful game for:

  • Joy: I have seen this sport bring so much joy to so many people including my own children.
  • Amazement: Soccer wouldn’t be the most popular sport in the world if it didn’t make your jaw drop on a consistent basis.
  • Fun: Sports can make us laugh and make us cry but at the end of the day I always root for fun.

thanksgiving-blog-picMike Koeshartanto

There are a lot of things from the previous year to be thankful for this holiday season, both personally and professionally. As you read this I’m probably somewhere in Ohio driving home to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving with friends and family, where I’ll undoubtedly play some pickup on the same field where this whole journey started.

On a personal level, I visited my 38th state (Alaska) on my quest to visit all 50. I went to my first SEC football game in Baton Rouge. I went to my first best friend wedding in Newport, Rhode Island. Despite my best efforts to stay in my mid-20s forever with the maturity and wit of a teenager, the process of growing up and getting older continues at a torrid pace.

However, the one thing that has remained constant over the years is the journey on which soccer has taken me. This past year soccer took me from the sun-kissed soccer fields of Orange County to the gritty soccer fields of Brooklyn. I went north of the border to Toronto and south to Disney World. I watched Italy and France play in Bari and spent a few days at the Italian Federation headquarters in Florence. I also went to my first U.S.-Mexico World Cup Qualifier in Columbus. Soccer has taken me a lot of places this past year and I’ve met some great people along the way – for that I am thankful.



In most other years, I’d surely look back on some key wins from the teams I support or some bucket-list soccer experiences I’ve been fortunate enough to have. But not 2016. This year became extra special for me when my 2-year old daughter willfully (and excitedly) joined me to watch a bit of early morning Premier League. Simple as that sounds, having a little supporters group at home is pretty darn cool. Not sure how long this fascination will last, but for as long as it does I’ll savor every moment.



John Guppy 

My life has been intrinsically linked to the beautiful game for nearly 50 years. Soccer truly is “the gift that keeps on giving”.. and it didn’t disappoint in 2016. Here’s what I’m thankful for this year:

1. UEFA Europa League: Europe’s “second tier” club tournament might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for a Southampton fan, I’m loving every minute of this year’s campaign. What could be better than a little Thanksgiving football this Thursday – Sparta Praha vs. Saints live on FS1 at noon. Bring it on.

2. “Live Soccer TV” App: This must have app cemented its place on the homepage of my phone this year. Honestly I don’t know how a soccer fan in America lives without it. So many games…on so many channels. How does anyone keep it all straight? The answer: Live Soccer TV app.

3. High School Soccer: I’ve always been a rather harsh critic of High School soccer, but this year I gained a deeper appreciation for the High School game. [Cue proud Dad moment] My son’s High School Team won the IL State Championship. It was an amazing journey that epitomized team spirit and the unique honor of representing your local community. Club soccer just doesn’t have this dynamic.

4. Christian Pulisic: As someone who remembers the Freddy Adu hype machine vividly, I’m somewhat reluctant to even bring this up, but… Christian Pulisic is pretty darn good. The emergence of the 18-year-old is one of the most exciting developments in US Soccer for quite a while.

5. The Gilt Edge Soccer Marketing team: I’d be remiss if I didn’t recognize the wonderful people who work for the agency. Each and every day they bring enthusiasm, intelligence, commitment and humor to the office. What more could I ask for.

Categories: Client Relations, Featured, Just For Fun, Soccer Marketing