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:
Abby Wambach has been named number five on ESPNW’s year-end “Impact 10″ list of female athletes.
Wambach was a natural pick for the list with her record-breaking year as she passed Mia Hamm for the greatest number of international goals scored by any player. ESPNW also cites her leading the Western New York Flash to a NWSL championship match in her hometown, where they lost to the Portland Thorns whose Alex Morgan was named as number ten on the list.
You can still vote in the fan version of the poll at the ESPNW website.
Now ESPN, can we now discuss how there could possibly be four bigger athletes than Abby Wambach in 2013? Boo.
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.
The Seattle Reign are the latest American soccer team to make a video for the You Can Play Project, becoming the first Women’s professional team in the US to participate.
Out US Women’s National Team midfielder Megan Rapinoe joined the Reign earlier this summer after her time with Lyon and she appears with her teammates in the video.
Welsh international Jess Fishlock spoke about making the video:
I am excited that we are partnering with You Can Play and helping them take the steps that are needed to eradicate homophobia in professional sports. It’s something I support 100% and I am honored to play for the first professional women’s team aligned with this cause.
- Michelle Betos, goalkeeper
- Liz Bogus, forward
- Jess Fishlock, midfielder and Welsh National Team member
- Laura Harvey, head coach
- Sam Laity, assistant coach
- Megan Rapinoe, midfielder and US National Team member
- Keelin Winters, midfielder
Sarah Huffman and Meleana Shim speak out as out NWSL athletes as part of the announcement.
Eighteen NWSL players have joined the Athlete Ally program as Ambassadors, representing seven teams across the league, as well as both the US and Canadian National Teams.
The effort to have league players join the anti-homophobia and a anti-transphobia non profit as a group was spearheaded by the Western New York Flash’s Sarah Huffman, who said as part of the statement:
I am proud to be an athlete ally because I dream of a world full of equal opportunities and treatment. I believe that sports are a place where everybody belongs. Discrimination based upon sexual orientation, race, gender have no place in the world – nevertheless sports. I am excited to be an ally and stand up for people like me in the LGBT community.
Megan Rapinoe was once again the object of Jimmy Conrad’s BFF affections as he made a second play on KickTV to win her over.
His first attempt was at a USWNT friendly last November, but it’s clear from this video that he was just trying to darned hard. He solicits advice from teammates Kelley O’Hara and Becky Sauerbrunn but will their tips lead to a BFF match made in heaven?
Will a special picnic win her over? How about some super fan antics at at the South Korea friendly at Red Bull Arena? Will Lori Lindsey be our BFF if Conrad steals Megan Rapinoe away? Most of these questions are answered in this great edition of Jimmy Conrad’s American Soccer Spectacular.
Coinciding with the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots that ushered in the modern gay rights movement, the final weekend of June is filled with the biggest pride celebrations across the country. Soccer teams and fans across America will be a part of it in the biggest ways ever over the next few days.
The Chicago Fire are partnering with team sponsors Pepsi for a float in their city’s Sunday parade along with other team sponsors like Quaker. Defender Gonzalo Segares and midfielder Brendan King will be on the float in addition to team mascot Sparky. Section 8 supporters group members as will Fire staffers who will be tossing Fire swag to the crowd.
The Fire also used this Pride Week in Chicago to announce this year’s LGBT Pride Night at Toyota Park, which will take place September 28 against the Montreal Impact. Once again, a portion of ticket sales will be going toward Equality Illinois’ work.
It’s the first Seattle Pride weekend in awhile with a weekend off for the Seattle Sounders, and supporters group Gorilla FC is taking advantage of the week off by making an appearance at the Sunday parade. Gorilla FC likens themselves to other socially progressive supporters like those of Germany’s FC Saint Pauli who stand up for LGBT and other diverse fans.
The Seattle Reign of the NWSL does have a match this weekend, and they’re making the Saturday match a celebration of pride. It’s also the expected home debut of midfielder Megan Rapinoe after her stint for Lyon in France. The Reign will have a special limited edition t-shirt for sale only at this weekend’s match for the occasion.
And finally, as we’ve noted before, the Houston Dynamo will have a big presence at Pride Houston, running a kids’ activity area with soccer-themed inflatables. The Dynamo Girls will also be in the parade and performing in a pre-parade kickoff show.
Thanks to all of the American soccer teams taking part in this upcoming weekend of pride festivities, and everyone in soccer who has made this a great pride month for our community. Especially with this past week’s historic Supreme Court decisions, it’s going to be an amazing weekend.
Portland Thorns and US Women’s National Team forward Alex Morgan spoke with ESPN last week, and one of the topics was gay athletes:
On Robbie Rogers:
I remember watching Robbie in person at Columbus and he always caught my eye because he’s so fast. He’s quick. He’s a great soccer player. And I think that the US really needs someone who feels comfortable in their own skin and he is openly gay and he has semi come out of retirement right now training with Galaxy. So I hope he continues to feel comfortable and a team picks him up that he wants to play for. It looks good so far but all the best to Robbie.
Joanna Lohman and Lianne Sanderson of the NWSL’s Boston Breakers have been named to The Advocate magazine’s 40 Under 40 List this year.
Lohman and Sanderson met as teammates at the Philadelphia Independence of Women’s Professional Soccer and played together for DC United Women last season. Together they founded the JoLi Academy to teach girls around the world soccer, especially in parts of the world where it might be difficult for young women to have access to soccer training.
Lohman is also an advisor to GO! Athletes, which provides training, consultation, and peer support to make school environments better places for LGBT student-athletes.
Go Joanna and Lianne!
We’ve covered troubling anti-gay legislation in Russia on this blog before as it is the 2018 World Cup host, but it’s also the 2014 Winter Olympics host and USA Today talked to Megan Rapinoe about the legislation as she was an out Olympian this past summer.
“I had my girlfriend with me in London,” said soccer player Megan Rapinoe, whose U.S. team won the Olympic gold medal last summer. “If I was just a gay fan going to Sochi, I don’t know. If the law passes, I would definitely be breaking the law. Hopefully it won’t deter gay athletes from being who they are.”
Sochi 2014 will likely break the trend of having a Pride House at the Olympics that was started in Vancouver and London because of these laws. Lady Gaga was threatened with prosecution and Madonna was sued under the anti-gay “propaganda” laws, and activists in Russia have even been arrested for simply wearing rainbow suspenders.