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The Daily Dirt, November 24: Giving Thanks

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Getting down to what really matters...

MLS: Portland Timbers at FC Dallas Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

On this special day, I wanted to take some time to thank all of you who read this site, listen to my podcasts, and take part in the #ATLSoccer chats. Your support means so much to me, especially over the past year.

2016 has been the hardest year of my life. I recently lost my mother after a long illness. It wasn’t a surprise, we knew it was coming, but it came fairly suddenly. I’ve never lost anyone close to me since I was little, and it’s been incredibly hard.

Almost six months ago, in anticipation for this, I made a massive change in my life. I moved back to my hometown to spend whatever time I had left with my Mom and to help my Dad deal with everything. He is losing his eyesight and watching his wife of 58 years slip away has been harder for him than I could ever imagine. I left a successful career for the great unknown of this different life.

I have to thank Rob Usry here at the site for allowing me to get more involved and letting me take this daily column. Along with the podcasts and Facebook chats Rob pushed me to try, it has been my therapy while I’ve been going through this. Rob has helped provide this escape from the hard times and I’ll be forever thankful.

The Atlanta United kit reveal was the first event I attended since my Mom passed away, and it was more challenging than I thought. Running into so many people who said nice things about my writing here, the podcasts, or the #ATLSoccer chat was just what I needed. Thank you.

It’s easy to forget about the things you are thankful for as you go through your everyday life. As we’ve gotten closer to Thanksgiving and I’ve thought about what it truly means, I’ve been reminded that I’m incredibly lucky to have what I have. I’ve wasted time worrying too much about things I don’t have and missing things right in front of me.

Of all the things, a T.I. line from “Live Your Life” keeps repeating in my head.

“What you need to do is be thankful
For the life you got, you know what I'm sayin?
Stop lookin' at what you ain't got
And start being thankful for what you do got”

Thanksgiving is different this year, it has so much more meaning. I think I truly understand it now. I am incredibly thankful for my love Ashley, my family, and all of you. Enjoy the day with those who mean the most to you. Thank you!


Domestic

Darlington Nagbe to Celtic? (Stumptown Footy)

Steve Clark will likely not be back in Columbus in 2017 (Massive Report)

Gregg Berhalter says his focus is on Columbus, not the USMNT or the LA Galaxy (MLS)

Michael Bradley on Klinsmann’s firing: “Nobody takes that harder than me” (ESPN)

Bruce Arena’s introduction has already provided a stark different to the Klinsmann era (FourFourTwo)

Pittsburgh has to improve to keep up with a more ambitious USL (Pittsburgh Soccer Report)

International

Tottenham might go back to White Hart Lane for Europa League games (Guardian)

Steven Gerrard officially announced his retirement (Instagram)

Gareth Bale will have surgery on his ankle, out for up to 4 months (Managing Madrid)