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 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.
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…
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
It’s time to continue our annual countdown that plays “what if?” with the Major League Soccer SuperDraft. What if players were selected solely on their appearance? What would the draft’s first round look like? We asked a group of folks about the players in the first few rounds of the SuperDraft and compiled a countdown of the top nineteen. Here is the next batch of six players.
13. Ryan Neil
- Actual SuperDraft pick: Round 1, Number 18
- Drafted by: Real Salt Lake
- College: California
- Hometown: Newport Beach, CA
- Position: Defender
- Stats: 6’1″, 165 pounds
Preseason is underway for Major League Soccer and this week we continue a now three-year tradition. Taking a look at the 2014 SuperDraft picks through a gay4soccer lens.
The premise is simple. What if the draft was done solely on the basis of the players’ looks? We took the 38 players from the first two rounds of the SuperDraft and based on feedback from a group of readers–men and women, gay and straight–we ranked the top 19 into a hypothetical first round. Here are the first six to be revealed in this year’s draft:
19. Eric Miller
- Actual SuperDraft pick: Round 1, Number 5
- Drafted by: Montreal Impact
- College: Creighton
- Hometown: Woodbury, MN
- Position: Defender
- Stats: 6’1″, 175 pounds
It was great to experience the final first-hand for the first time and to share some of the moments with you as we launched a new YouTube Channel. If you missed any of the moments over the weekend here are the compilation videos we shared created using Google’s Auto Awesome video program.
MLS and Sporting KC put on a World Cup Draw watch event at Sporting Park’s Members Club. It was great to watch the draw with a few National Team players in attendance to see their instant reactions and hang out with local fans.
The You Can Play Project is launching an initiative with the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) and MLS’ Colorado Rapids are among the pro teams who have signed on to participate.
You Can Play, Colorado! is a program to encourage inclusion in high school athletics and other extracurricular activities, especially among LGBT youth. Many Colorado sports teams will be represented in the program including the Rapids, NHL’s Avalanche, and NBA’s Nuggets. The Avalanche will be the first with a video out in support of the program early next month. Students from across the state will also be able to create videos supporting diversity for the project as part of a contest.
You Can Play executive director Wade Davis graduated from high school in Colorado, and had this to say in their release about the new program:
Ending discrimination of any kind in sports has always been the mission of You Can Play. In working with CHSAA, it became clear that You Can Play’s original mission of changing the culture of locker rooms extends to anywhere students rely on teammates, whether that’s a locker room, on a debate or chess team, or in school bands or plays.
Hopefully You Can Play, Colorado! will serve as a great example for what professional teams and organizations across the country can do together to work towards inclusion at all levels of sports.
Oregon United for Marriage along with other groups are currently in the process of collecting the voter signatures needed to put marriage equality on the November 2014 ballot.
The Timbers and Thorns organization announced the endorsement with a statement from owner Merritt Paulson: “We are proud to support Oregon United for Marriage and its efforts to secure the freedom to marry for all Oregonians next November.” They also released the following video on the Oregon United for Marriage YouTube page:
The Chicago Fire currently work with Equality Illinois, who are working through the legislature for marriage equality. Adidas America joined with Oregon United for Marriage this week as well.
You can sign onto a message thanking the Timbers, Thorns, and NBA’s Trailblazers on the Oregon United for Marriage website.
Local musicians featured heavily in the evening, both performing at a special pregame concert and singing the national anthems for the crowd at Toyota Park and watching on the MLS Stream of the Week.
Singer and actress Jess Godwin was tapped with singing “O Canada.” Her latest music video addresses bullying and using the arts as an outlet for social issues.
Isaiah Grass, named to a list of the “Best of Gay Chicago” in 2011, took on the “Star Spangled Banner”
Kudos to the Chicago Fire for putting on another great Pride Night, with proceeds benefitting Equality Illinois’ fight for marriage equality!
The Fire trounced DC United 3-0 on the road this past weekend.