Minnesota United Top Gun

Minnesota United Reenacts Top Gun Volleyball Scene

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Minnesota United Top GunMinnesota United FC is doing preseason training in Brazil and a foursome of players took some time off to reenact one of cinema’s most unintentionally homoerotic scenes.

In another classic video defenders Justin Davis, Kevin Venegas, and and Brent Kallman along with goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt play some beach volleyball in the style of Top Gun’s now-classic moment.

This isn’t just some volleyball fun set to a Kenny Loggins soundtrack. Minnesota United took the time to recreate the scene’s most famous shots, timed to when they happened in the movie. There are the ball spins (with an NASL ball); grunts, screams, and woos; and the sweaty man flesh making contact with sweaty man flesh.

If the expansion rumors are true, Minnesota United are going to be a very welcome and much deserving addition to Major League Soccer.

“Playing with the Boys,” indeed.

mls jersey week 2015 van

MLS Jersey Week 2015: Western Conference Reviews

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Most Major League Soccer teams revealed kits as part of MLS Jersey Week 2015. So now that we’ve seen all of the unveilings and most kits on the field, it’s time for some reviews. Overall, this year was definitely a departure from the overall yawn-inducing offerings of last year, so while there are still misses here and there at least this year there was more of an attempt to be different and interesting. We reviewed Eastern Conference jerseys earlier this week.

mls jersey week 2015 vanVancouver Whitecaps

After all of the white jerseys coming out of the east, maybe this isn’t the best one to start with. At least Vancouver is making some sort of attempt to add some visual interest rather than just some white on white detail. I kinda dig the mountains and water look that they’re going for, but there’s something small that’s bothering me about it. Maybe it needs the same detail coming up from the bottom. Maybe it needs to be place a little bit lower; I don’t know. But it just seems like the design sits oddly on top of the pectoral region. read more…

MLS Jersey Week 2015 NYCFC

MLS Jersey Week 2015: Eastern Conference Reviews

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Most Major League Soccer teams revealed kits as part of MLS Jersey Week 2015. So now that we’ve seen all of the unveilings and most kits on the field, it’s time for some reviews. Overall, this year was definitely a departure from the overall yawn-inducing offerings of last year, so while there are still misses here and there at least this year there was more of an attempt to be different and interesting.

MLS Jersey Week 2015 NYCFCNew York City FC (Unveiled in 2014)

NYCFC made up for a plain all-Manchester City blue jersey with something that has been sorely missing in MLS: a slick, black away kit. As usual the symbolism is a bit overdone in the design. Why do the diagonal stripes have to represent something? They just look good. And the blue and orange trim add a great deal to the look with just a little even though orange says “Mets” to me more than it does “Yankees.” Read more…

MLS Players Strike Pulitzer

MLS Labor Talks as Explained by Newsies

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Norma Rae. The Molly Maguires. Last Exit to Springfield. There are a few examples of labor relations at the center of popular culture. But here at G4S, we’re going to look at the MLS labor talks through the lens of Razzie-winning movie turned Tony-winning musical Newsies.

Now if you’re not familiar with Newsies, first…whaaaAAAaaa? Second, Newsies is based on the true story of the 1899 New York Newsboys Strike when thousands of youth protested price hikes from newspapers run by Joseph Pulitzer and William Randoph Hearst. The strike shut down the Brooklyn Bridge halting traffic and preventing newspaper distribution to New England. It didn’t result in a lowering of prices, but the papers agreed to buy back unsold copies.

READ MORE…

Natasha Kai National Team

Natasha Kai Eligible for Soccer Hall of Fame

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Natasha Kai National TeamLate last week the 2015 Ballot for the National Soccer Hall of Fame was released, and Natasha Kai became the first out LGBT player eligible for the list.

Kai earned eligibility with her 67 National Team caps between 2006 and 2011. Players must be retired for between 3 and 10 years to be considered for the Hall of Fame.

Natasha Kai was out for her entire professional career and for much of her time with the US Women’s National Team, having spoken to NBC prior to her appearance at the 2008 Olympics about issues with her girlfriend affecting her performance.

Kai played for both Sky Blue FC and the Philadelphia Independence of Women’s Professional Soccer. She was selected by Washington in the inaugural NWSL supplemental draft, but was injured and never played for the Spirit. Since soccer retirement, she has played for the US National Women’s Rugby Sevens Team.

Robbie Rogers celebrates scoring the first USMNT Goal of the Jurgen Klinsmann era

Jurgen Klinsmann: Definitely an Open Door for Rogers

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Robbie Rogers celebrates scoring the first USMNT Goal of the Jurgen Klinsmann era

Robbie Rogers celebrates scoring the first USMNT Goal of the Jurgen Klinsmann era

The lack of Robbie Rogers on the roster has been called the biggest snub of this January Camp for the USMNT, but Jurgen Klinsmann says the camp strategy left Rogers out and that there is an open door.

Speculation was high that this January Camp was prime time for Rogers to rejoin the squad after a stellar season at his new position of left back. Teammates and pundits both called a post-transformation Rogers “National Team ready.”

At the same time, Robbie Rogers alluded to a past coach and mentor in his memoir Coming Out to Play whose description fit Jurgen Klinsmann. While describing the numerous well-wishers he heard from after coming out, Rogers also mentions a coach and mentor he hadn’t heard from at all, even after his reaching out.

Some worried that what appeared to be a personal rift meant that Rogers may not get a much-deserved National Team opportunity.

According to MLSSoccer.com, it’s the Camp’s focus on young talent that kept Rogers out of contention this time around. Looking ahead to both the 2015 Gold Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics, there are nearly a dozen under-23 players in Carson right now.

According to Klinsmann, “If it was purely senior guys, Robbie would be in that camp.”

He also elaborated his youth strategy with an eye on Rogers’ future: “And that’s why some players were left out, and Robbie was one of them. But there’s always definitely an open door.”

Coming Out to Play

Coming Out to Play is a Must-Read

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Coming Out to PlayIf you thought an openly gay athlete could have no more surprises, pick up a copy of Robbie Rogers’ memoir Coming Out to Play this week and prepare to be surprised.

Starting early on in the opening chapters, Rogers tells a very personal story. This is not just the “athlete in the closet” story that one might expect, but it’s also a portrait of his family and their ups and downs throughout his young life. It’s also the story of a rising soccer star beyond the issues of his sexuality and the decisions that a player viewed as a young phenomenon must make. When it comes to this time in his life I would have been interested in hearing more about his time at the University of Maryland and playing with other current MLS stars like Maurice Edu and Graham Zusi.

Ultimately this is a story of a man who spent his life masking his sexuality and the process he took to reveal his whole self to the world. There are many stories about Rogers self-censoring his language, monitoring his behavior with friends and family, and doing with women what his peers expected him to be doing with women. “Heartbreaking” doesn’t begin to describe some of these moments, and anyone who has been in the closet will be able to identify with much of what Rogers went through.

Read more…

Robbie Rogers Team of the Week

Robbie Rogers: National Team Ready?

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Robbie Rogers Team of the WeekRobbie Rogers was once again named to the Major League Soccer Team of the Week after a great performance against Dallas, stoking the fire that he deserves a callup to the US Men’s National Team.

Team Captain Robbie Keane gave a glowing assessment of Rogers’ move to a defensive position to LAGalaxy.com following the team’s weekend victory over FC Dallas:

He’s a player who’s grown in stature in that position. I think you’re looking at probably the best left back in the league. Certainly no question about that.

If (U.S. national team coach Jurgen) Klinsmann is watching the games no question he should be looked at. He’s been brilliant. That’s how much he’s come on.

Schedule-wise it’s difficult seeing when Rogers would join the National Team again, with the next pair of stateside matches coming so close to the MLS playoffs. Bruce Arena will be reticent to let too many of his players leave LA when there very well could be a Supporters Shield and prime playoff position on the line.

Rogers hasn’t had a National Team cap since 2011. It was a year that included him being a part of Klinsmann’s first roster and scoring a goal against Mexico in that friendly match. His international resume also includes an appearance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

All things considered maybe that headline should read, “Robbie Rogers, National Team Ready.”

Fan turnout for the All Star training was tremendous.

All Star Game Week Diary: The Days Between the Games

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We’re in the thick of the MLS All Star Game Week here in Portland, and the league, team, and city continue to put on quite the show for the fans.

The atmosphere has not gone unnoticed, with players both at the pregame press conference and at training at Providence Park lauding Portland’s soccer-friendly culture and the passion of its fans. Even when the result is a rain of boos when they come as a member of an opposing team.

It’s also a bit of a reunion for some of the players, with so many of Major League Soccer’s US Men’s National Team players represented here so soon after their stint together at the World Cup in Brazil. That added chemistry could be a factor Wednesday night that gives this All Star Game a different look than those in years past.

It should be another great All Star Game along with the rest of the week’s festivities.

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An amazing crowd led by the Rose City Riveters

All Star Game Week Diary: Portland Thorns vs Houston Dash

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It’s MLS All Star Game week and G4S is here for all of the action–events both at Providence Park and all around town. One benefit of being in Portland this week is getting to see the Thorns take on the Houston Dash in a 1-0 victory.

Beyond it being a great home victory in front of the home crowd, the game was a record-setter for attendance, the 19,123 fans in Providence Park setting an NWSL record. It was an incredible experience to witness, with the Rose City Riveters leading the stadium in amazingly raucous cheers.

If the rest of the country follows the lead of teams like the Portland Thorns, women’s professional soccer has a bright future in this country.

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