just hours earlier we had been speaking normally," said Sampson. "He was a fabulous person, completely dedicated to his work. It is a great loss for soccer and MLS because of how he promoted the development of soccer in our country."
The Galaxy were to enter the 2006 season with the very difficult task of attempting to repeat as MLS Cup champions, an accomplishment only achieved once in the league's first 10 years. D.C. United won the first two titles in 1996 and 1997.
That challenge has now been multiplied, as the club must find a way to quickly move forward in preparation for the new season, which begins in just three weeks. The Green and Gold will host the New England Revolution in a rematch of last year's MLS Cup Final on opening day, April 1.
"Everyone's pretty shattered. There's going to be a period of grieving," Dunivant said. "We've got to get through that, and then Doug would want us to get back out on the field and do our thing. Without a doubt, he's going to be in our minds every single game that we play. I'm sure there are going to be all kinds of armbands and visual symbols to remember him by, but he's always going to be in our heads and in our hearts this entire season."
Jonathan Nierman is a contributor to MLSnet.com. Kenneth Hernandez contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.