A weekly roundup of what LGBT soccer players were up to over the weekend. What other sport does that? So with more action on the field and a big movie festival event, here we go!
- Lori Lindsey made her 2014 debut for the Washington Spirit, who also chalked up their first win of 2014, defeating Kansas City FC 3-1. Lindsey started the match and was subbed out at the half.
- Meleana Shim was in the starting lineup and Sarah Huffman was a second-half substitute as the Portland Thorns drew Sky Blue FC 1-1 on the road.
- Robbie Rogers played 80 minutes for the LA Galaxy II as they beat crosstown rivals the Orange County Blues 3-1. Josh Guesman at Corner of the Galaxy has some great quotes from Rogers on how he felt during the battle of a match and poses the question, “Is Robbie Rogers already ready for a return to the senior team?“
- A goal from Joanna Lohman wasn’t enough for the Boston Breakers, who fell 3-2 to the Houston Dash, who earned their first win of their inaugural season. Lianne Sanderson played a full 90 minutes for the Breakers.
- Anton Hysen’s Myrtle Beach Mutiny unveiled a new logo and website at a player meet and greet with their fans.
- The soccer documentary Next Goal Wins about Thomas Rongen coaching the American Samoa Football Team made its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival. One of the players in the film is Jaiyah Saelua, considered to be the first transgender person to compete in FIFA World Cup Qualifying, but she identifies herself as fa’afafine, considered a third gender in Samoan culture. Rongen shared this great photo with Saelua taken on the way to the event:
— Thomas Rongen (@ThomasRongen) April 20, 2014
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:
The 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.
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.
Colorado 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!
— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) April 1, 2014
Bravo, Dillon Powers, on both accounts!
Major 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.
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