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Chicago Fire Begins a Formal Partnership with Equality Illinois

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In what is being hailed as the Midwest’s first formal partnership between a pro sports franchise and an LGBT-rights group, the Chicago Fire is teaming up with Equality Illinois for a number of events over the summer.

The first sign of the new partnership was on June 24, when members of the Fire staff marched along with Equality Illinois and their marriage equality float in the city’s Pride Parade:

(via @chow3 on Twitter)

The first-of-its-kind partnership was formally announced July 5. Other Chicago teams have donated items or held LGBT theme nights, but there has never been a pairing like this between a team and an organization.

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Vancouver’s New Secret Weapon: Joe Cannon in Short Shorts

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After a thwomping in Los Angeles, the Vancouver Whitecaps’ five-game road trip continued with a 1-0 Independence Day victory over the Colorado Rapids.

Could the secret to their shutout success be goalkeeper and soccer ally Joe Cannon’s extremely short shorts?

Cannon took some pride in his clothing choice on Twitter after the game:

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Portland Ends Another MLS Winning Streak

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This week Portland saw something that has happened plenty of times before: a team on a hot streak ends up losing in the Rose City. This time the takedown was San Jose in a 2-1 win. It was a hard fought match that was nerve-wracking at the very end of the game.

Portland had goals from two people who haven’t scored a goal yet this season until last night, hometown favorite Danny Mwanga and captain Jack Jewsbury. It was a long time coming but I could see in their eyes that they were glad to get one goal under their belts — especially Mwanga. He even did a very interesting goal celebration after he scored:

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Pride Across MLS

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If there was any one day of the calendar that may be considered National Pride Day, today would be the day.

43 years ago this morning in New York City, the police raided the Stonewall Inn, an almost monthly occurrence in an age when morals codes led the force to bust into bars, line up patrons, and haul them off if they weren’t wearing the minimum number of articles of clothing deemed appropriate for their gender.

The June 28, 1969 raid was the last straw for so many. People rose up and hundreds rioted, at times violently. Christopher Street was choked with demonstrators for nights to come.

The modern-day gay rights movement had begun.

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Soccer Ally List Members Top Several All Star Categories

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The latest tally of Major League Soccer 2012 All Star Game fan voting is out and members of our Soccer Allies list top several categories:

  • The top three players in text voting, Jimmy Nielsen, Chris Wondolowski, and Heath Pearce, are all allies.
  • Wondolowski also tops the forwards list in online voting. 
  • Vancouver ally Jay DeMerit is the top defender so far in the online vote.
Fan voting for the MLS All Star Game Starting XI continues through Monday evening with results revealed July 8. Keep voting for LGBT-supportive players!
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gay4soccer Strips for Pride Toronto

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Several “red state” Major League Soccer teams have held pride night events in conjunction with their cities’ pride weeks, and it has some Toronto FC fans wondering, “If Kansas City and Houston can do it, why not us?”

TFC fan Paul Marhue digitally inked a pair of comic strips to express his feelings on Toronto FC’s lack of a pride night with a tooned out version of our Toronto correspondent John:

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Portland vs. Seattle: A Timbers Recap

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This weekend saw an emotional game for both sides of the I-5 corridor, especially for the Timbers. We had to get a win in our column or else things might have gone terribly for our organization. However, both teams spilled their heart and soul onto the pitch in a very feisty match.

I do like though the Tifo display that was shown for this match and I have to congratulate the Timbers Army for coming up with the artistic display.

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Chivas USA’s Monumental May Builds Up to a So-So June

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Before the international break, Chivas USA made headlines more times in two weeks than they probably had in a couple of seasons. It started with their 1-0 defeat of cross-town rivals LA Galaxy. The Goats had not beaten the Galaxy in 14 matchups. I’m not sure that many people would even acknowledge it as a rivalry due to its lopsided nature. However, Chivas USA showed a lot of promise in this season leading up to the matchup, while the Galaxy was sputtering. The Goats were able to convert a PK in the second half and go away with a 1-0 win at home. This type of matchup does wonders for confidence, and helped the team get an important away point at New York Red Bulls just 4 days later, and another point against the Seattle Sounders just after that. I won’t get into the details of their continued tendency to give up goals so soon after taking a lead, as I would just be beating on a dead horse.

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Timbers Gear Up for an Ugly Derby Matchup With Seattle

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This has been the game I have been looking for since the start of the MLS season: the Cascadia Derby between the Portland Timbers and the Seattle Sounders. These two teams have a long history of hating one another; I am hoping that things do not get out of hand and things boil over. However, so much is on the line between these two teams come Sunday. Payback is going to be on the line knowing that both teams are looking for some payback after their awful defeats last weekend. As a Timbers fan there is more on the line that people may not realize.

Pride is always on the line when it comes to these derbies. This game will be played at home and the fans will be going wild. If we win this game we would have some bragging rights going on in the rivalry. Also we would be ahead of Seattle and Vancouver when it comes to the Cascadia Cup. Also it would give us a much needed boost in confidence for our team that we so desperately need as we approach the halfway mark of the MLS season.  So those things are on the line when it comes to the team itself.

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Crying in the Rain: Really Hard Times in Toronto FC Land

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It’s been a while since I’ve written…mostly because there hasn’t been much to write here in Toronto FC-land.

The Aron Winter era ended about two weeks ago, and we’re on coach #7 (the one that should have come in about three slots before, if that Scotsman had his way), and we’re on a ship that is headed by someone who clearly wants no further part in the organization (and is awaiting his promotion to another part of the MLSE fiefdom) — let’s just say Euro 2012 has proven to be a welcome distraction.

This of course doesn’t distract us from the recent nightclub outing by three players (thankfully not including any of our three G4S allies) which resulted in some nice mugshots being taken, and the new Paul Mariner era opened with a 2-0 loss away to Sporting Kansas City, where the trademark carelessness cost TFC the early goals on the way to yet another loss.

I’m just at a loss for words as to what else to say…

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