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LGBT Soccer Roundup, April 11-13

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With NWSL season two kicking off, the Myrtle Beach Mutiny beginning preseason action and Robbie Rogers back on the pitch, it’s a good time to start a review of what our favorite out LGBT soccer players have been up to.

  • It was the inaugural match for the Houston Dash, but they were defeated by the Portland Thorns 1-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium. Both Meleana Shim and Sarah Huffman appeared as substitutes in the match. 
  • Abby Wambach was out of the Western New York Flash’s match against the Washington Spirit as she seeks treatment for a head injury suffered during the USWNT’s midweek match against China.
  • Lianne Sanderson wore the captain’s armband for the Boston Breakers and Joanna Lohman had a strike hit the crossbar, but their team’s efforts weren’t enough to defeat the Washington Reign FC, who clinched a 3-0 shutout with a goal from Megan Rapinoe.
  • On loan to the LA Galaxy II, Robbie Rogers played 40 minutes in the team’s loss to Sacramento Republic FC. His first competitive action this year, he became the first out man to play in USL Pro. 
  • Anton Hysen and NPSL’s Myrtle Beach Mutiny started preseason action against Francis Marion University, winning 2-1. Here’s him looking good in uniform from his Instagram feed:

NYCFC Ramblers Tournament

NYCFC Sponsoring New York Ramblers’ Indoor Tournament

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NYCFC Ramblers TournamentThe New York Ramblers have announced that NYCFC have signed on as official sponsors of this weekend’s NY Indoor Classic soccer tournament. The Ramblers were founded as the world’s first organized openly-gay soccer club in 1980.

From the Ramblers’ Facebook post announcing the sponsorship:

We are excited about NYC FC’s progressive stance on tolerance in American Soccer, so please rally support for NYC FC as proud supporters of the LGBT soccer community.

NYCFC The Indoor Classic attracts teams from not only the New York metro area, but also the whole North American gay soccer community. Teams will be representing Boston, Chicago, Washington DC, San Francisco, Toronto, Seattle, Portland, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and West Hollywood.

It’s great to see NYCFC deliberately including the city’s LGBT community as they gear up for their inaugural 2015 season.

You can watch this weekend’s tournament action at the CCE Sports Network online.

Athlete Ally Dillon Powers

Dillon Powers: Athlete Ally. Short Shorts Model.

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Athlete Ally Dillon PowersColorado Rapids midfielder and 2013 MLS Rookie of the Year Dillon Powers was announced as an ambassador in the Athlete Ally program yesterday.

Joining numerous other players in Major League Soccer and the National Women’s Soccer League, Powers said in the Athlete Ally statement:

…I think sports have always provided a powerful platform from which social issues can be supported and examples can be set. So supporting LGBT equality in sport is important because it can successfully affect social change.

But lest that be his only contribution to the gay community yesterday, Powers was also part of the Rapids’ April Fools Day fun, posing in some retro soccer kits that featured fringe and some very short shorts. The uniforms are a throwback to the Colorado Caribous of the NASL who spend one year in Denver before being moved to Atlanta by an ownership group including Ted Turner.

Enough of the April Fools teasing Colorado; we want to see Dillon Powers sporting this look on the pitch!

 

Bravo, Dillon Powers, on both accounts!

Major League Soccer Anti-Discrimination

Major League Soccer Ramping Up Anti-Discrimination Efforts

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Major League Soccer Anti-DiscriminationMajor League Soccer will be ramping up workplace anti-discrimination and anti-harassment efforts this year according to the New York Attorney General and reported by the Huffington Post.

There will be a few behind the scenes moves made in 2014 in addition to the league’s public Don’t Cross the Line campaign and partnership with the You Can Play Project:

  • A Player Code of Conduct that includes non-discrimination and anti-harassment language will be posted both in home and visitors’ locker rooms.
  • Training for players will be expanded. (Hopefully Wade Davis at You Can Play gets to see lots of MLS cities.)
  • There will be a lead person at Major League Soccer’s central office for handling harassment and discrimination complaints.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in his statement:

I applaud Major League Soccer for working cooperatively with us to promote a culture of inclusion. Together, we are sending a powerful message that discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated in any form in the world of major league sports.

The New York State Attorney General’s Office has previously worked with Major League Baseball and the National Football League on anti-discrimination efforts.

 

Supporters Groups: Say “You Can Play” in 2014

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Dozens of supporters groups have expressed their support for the LGBT community since this site started. And Major League Soccer has partnered with the You Can Play Project since last season.

Now it’s time to combine those two things as we issue a challenge to soccer supporters groups all throughout 2014: Make the next great You Can Play video.

DC United, the San Jose Earthquakes, the Seattle Reign, and Toronto FC have all made videos. And now, whether your support MLS, NWSL, NASL, USL, a national team, or any other team or league, it’s your turn to show support video style. Check out what some San Jose Sharks fans made:

We’ll be looking for your videos all throughout the year, and when the playoffs come this fall we’ll be picking a top video from all of the submissions we see. Videos will receive ratings in three areas:

  1. How well it spreads the “You Can Play” message
  2. How well it shows off your supporters group
  3. Overall video quality

Need advice or help with your video’s messaging? Email us at gay4soccer@gmail.com and we can talk about ideas. You can share final videos via methods like Google Drive or Dropbox or any other medium that works for you. Just let us know where it is and we’ll share it with the world. You have until October 31.

We hope many supporters groups can take part in this exciting project. Because if you can chant, you can chant. If you can cheer, you can cheer. And if you can play, you can play.

Good luck!

25ANTONHYSEN-THOJOH-255

Anton Hysén Signs With Myrtle Beach Mutiny

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Anton Hysén Out Swedish soccer player Anton Hysén has signed with the Myrtle Beach Mutiny of the National Premier Soccer League.

Hysén came out exactly three years ago in an interview with Swedish soccer magazine Offside and in this site’s first interview told us that one of his career dreams was to play in the United States.

For the past four seasons he has played for Utsiktens BK in Sweden’s third division. The Mutiny are in the fourth division of the American soccer pyramid, on par with the USL Premier Development League, and eligible for US Open Cup competition.

I’ve had the opportunity to have some conversation with Hysén about this move while it has been in the works and while he knows he’s playing in a lower league in America, he feels that it’s a better opportunity to get exposure and playing time in a country he loves. His move across the Atlantic is expected to happen in April ahead of the new season.

Off the field Anton Hysén is also known as the seventh champion of Sweden’s version of Dancing with the Stars. His father, former Liverpool defender Glenn Hysén, is currently competing on the show.

MLS Jersey Week

MLS Jersey Week 2014: The Gay4Soccer Hangout

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MLS Jersey WeekThe new MLS season is upon us and the league’s jersey week has wrapped up with every team adding at least one new offering to their lineup of kits.

This year we did something new for us to review all of the new MLS jerseys. We did a Google+ Hangout On Air to cover them all and give our thoughts. Our panel included Chris in Austin, a Philadelphia Union fan, Teddy in Denver, a Colorado Rapids fan, and Josh in Seattle, a Sounders fan. We were joined by special guest Craig from PuckBuddys.com as a token hockey fan who roots for the Washington Capitals. It was great to get an outsider’s perspective on kit / sweater nerd culture and explain to him why our uniforms say things like “Bimbo” on the front.

I know we all had a lot of fun doing the Hangout and hope you enjoy our chat. We hope to bring you more of these throughout the MLS season covering soccer action both on and off the field and to bring you more great special guests.

February 15, 2013

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February 15, 2013 is a day I will always remember. Robbie Rogers came out publicly as a gay man, was embraced by the soccer community, and was on his way to making professional sports history.


I remember sitting at the desk in my office, very much ready for the weekend to begin in six or so hours. Then I saw the tweet: “Just getting some sh*t off my chest” along with a link to therobbierogers.com.

Now I feel like I need to say that I don’t make presumptions about any player’s sexuality. But at the same time as I moved my mouse pointer to that link a part of me wondered, “Is this it? Is this going to be an American soccer player coming out of the closet while still in the prime of his career?” It truly was a gut feeling based on nothing whatsoever.

I read the post. I read it again. And again. I wanted to make sure what I was reading was exactly what I thought it was. Even then, a part of me wasn’t sure. If you go back and look at the first versions of posts to the site that day, they all said “appears to have come out.” Part of my brain still thought it was too good to be true, although the posting was soon confirmed as legitimate.

But yeah, there was also a part of me that was filled with nothing short of giddy excitement. It’s funny because my company had just hired someone for my department a week before and she was in the office to be trained by me. Who knows what she thought of me nervously pacing around with my phone in my hand. I texted my best friend. I sent messages to the other out soccer players I knew of in North Carolina, in Montreal, and in Sweden. It’s so odd how I remember exactly what I did one year ago.

Then I set up a Tweetdeck search. What would the reaction be? Would people care? Would people be supportive?

I was nothing short of overwhelmed. The love from teammates, other players, and so many fans had me beaming all day long. That reaction is so much of what made the day so special for me. Our community coming together to virtually wrap our arms around one of our own, letting him know he is loved and that whatever path he would choose to go down, we all had his back.

That’s why I made the video above. I wanted some sort of memento of February 15, 2013. Something to remember the brave step Robbie Rogers took and the way a world reacted. And how proud I felt that day to be a fan of American soccer.

Robbie Rogers wasn’t the first soccer player to come out, and he certainly won’t be the last. And I know that every time we have another day like February 15, 2013, soccer players and fans from around our soccer community will envelop that next out player with our love.

Past Draft Winners

The 2014 gay4soccer Draft: The Number One Pick

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The moment is here. It’s time to reveal who our panel has rated the number one pick in our version of the 2014 Major League Soccer Draft.

This is now a three-year tradition, and this year’s selection will join these illustrious players:

Here’s the countdown so far:

19 – Eric Miller – Montreal Impact *** 18 – Daniel Lovitz – Toronto FC *** 17 – Jimmy Ockford – Seattle Sounders *** 16 – Taylor Peay – Portland Timbers *** 15 – Alec Sundly – New England Revolution *** 14 – Eric Stevenson – New York Red Bulls *** 13 – Ryan Neil – Real Salt Lake *** 12 – Joe Sofia – San Jose Earthquakes *** 11 – Christian Dean – Vancouver Whitecaps *** 10 – Patrick Mullins – New England Revolution *** 9 – JJ Koval – San Jose Earthquakes *** 8 – George Malki – Montreal Impact *** 7 – Kevin Cope – Philadelphia Union *** 6 – Tesho Akindele – FC Dallas *** 5 – Steve Neumann – New England Revolution *** 4 – John Berner – Colorado Rapids *** 3 – Marco Franco – Chicago Fire *** 2 – Adnan Gabeljic – Sporting Kansas City

Congratulations to all of the guys who were “drafted.” But the Number One gay4soccer Draft Pick is…

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Cope

The 2014 gay4soccer Draft: 7 – 2

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Everyone knows what players got selected in the four rounds of the MLS SuperDraft. But what would the first round of the draft look like if was done on appearance alone? This is the third year we posed that very question, compiling a top-nineteen countdown of hottest rookies a judged by a panel of readers. Our list continues with the next six picks, and concludes tomorrow with the number one revealed.

7. Kevin Cope

  • Actual SuperDraft Pick: Round 2, Number 6
  • Drafted by: Philadelphia Union
  • College: Michigan State
  • Hometown: Canton, MI
  • Position: Defender
  • Stats: 6’1″, 175 pounds

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