The Chicago Fire are in the midst of their preseason training in Florida, and both put in some work and took some time off at the beach in Naples.
Their intrepid video staff got the good stuff on camera:
(With thanks to the Fire’s Jeff Crandall for sharing.)
We are halfway through our countdown of our favorite hot draft picks this MLS preseason, so it seemed like a natural time to check in with last year’s favorite: Chandler Hoffman, Philadelphia Union forward.
We talked about memories of the 2012 SuperDraft and his first professional season, as well as how preseason 2013 is going and what the season ahead looks like with some seasoned veterans now part of the Union attack. And of course, he passes on his crown and sash with some advice for his hottest draft pick successor.
What would happen if a group of people conducted a soccer draft based solely on the hotness of the players? This is the second time we’ve worked to answer that question.
We gathered the opinions of men and women, gay and straight, and compiled it all into a countdown of our top 19 players from both rounds of the MLS SuperDraft. Here are our next three picks:
#13 Dylan Remick
- Drafted by Seattle Sounders in Round 2, Pick 16
- Defender, Brown University
- First Team All Ivy Leage for three years straight
- 6′ 165 pounds
- Hometown of Inverness, Illinois
It’s year two, day two of our now-annual look at the top picks from the Major League Soccer SuperDraft. And by top picks, we mean the ones we found the hottest.
To review how it works, we had a panel of men and women, gay and straight, take a look at all of the picks in the first two rounds of the 2013 SuperDraft and use a compilation of their thoughts to come up with a top 19 countdown that we continue now.
#16 Fernando Monge
- Drafted by Montreal Impact in Round 1, Pick 18
- Midfielder, UCLA
- Member of the US National Beach Soccer Team
- 5′ 10″ 165 pounds
- Hometown of San Diego, California
It’s back. Last year we took on an experiment after the MLS SuperDraft. What if a group of people conducted a draft with decisions solely on their looks?
This year we repeat the experiment on twice the scale of last year. This year we took all of the players in both rounds of the SuperDraft and had a panel of men and women, gay and straight, take a look at them and give their opinions as to the draft picks’ hotness factor.
Our countdown of the top 19 draft picks begins now.
#19 Mikey Lopez
- Drafted by Sporting Kansas City in Round 1, Pick 14
- Midfielder, University of North Carolina
- Generation Adidas, 2011 ACC Freshman of the Year
- 5′ 8″ 160 pounds
- Hometown of Dallas, Texas
It’s No Name-Calling Week for GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), and Megan Rapinoe did a video for the group released by AOL for the occasion.
The USWNT, Seattle Reign, and Lyon midfielder talks about how biased language should not have a place on the field, in school, or anywhere else.
You can also tell GLSEN why you want to Change the Game with Megan Rapinoe and have a chance to with $500 in Nike goodies, soccer balls signed by Rapinoe, or GLSEN swag if your thoughts are used on their blog.
CARSON (g4s) – Los Angeles Galaxy invited fans and media Monday evening to celebrate Saturday’s MLS Cup victory over Houston Dynamo. A crowd of 4,000 fans were in attendance to celebrate the club’s fourth league championship and to show their appreciation to a roster that may see significant changes during the off-season.
Fans were treated to speeches from Galaxy Vice President (and former Galaxy star) Chris Klein, Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena, and stars Landon Donovan, Mike Magee, Omar Gonzalez, Robbie Keane and, in what is most likely his last public appearance as a Galaxy player, David Beckham.
The man who helped make Galaxy’s star the brightest in MLS’ constellation, Beckham thanked fans, coach Arena, and his teammates for making his time with Galaxy special. Amid chants of “one more year” – chants encouraged by midfielder Juninho – Beckham re-confirmed that Saturday was his last match in a Galaxy kit, but hinted at his post-playing plans by noting his expectation to remain a part of the club in the future.
The hour-long casual affair was not without surprises, however. Mr. Klein announced to media after the festivities that there would be no post-season tour for the team. As in previous years, a tour seemed like a foregone conclusion – particularly after an MLS Cup victory – but the decision was made earlier in the day to scrap plans for doing so. Mr. Klein noted that players were informed just before the celebration ceremony that they would be experiencing a full off-season for the first time in nearly four years.
That doesn’t suggest the team will be inactive for the next four months, however.
Los Angeles faces a number of obstacles heading into the off-season. Many of Galaxy’s starting roster will certainly invite loan or trade offers from elsewhere – particularly MLS Cup MVP Gonzalez, fellow defender Sean Franklin and Sao Paolo loanee Juninho. In addition to possibly losing current starters due to their increasing desirability elsewhere, coach Arena has the unenviable task of dowsing the future of his team captain, Landon Donovan.
Donovan, who hasn’t been sparing in expressing his inner turmoil during the latter stages of the season, has kept reporters at arms’ length in the lead-up to the championship final whenever asked about his future with the team – and the sport. It’s Donovan’s desires that will determine whether Galaxy experiences a remodeling leading into 2013 or a complete rebuild.
One man Arena and Los Angeles shouldn’t have to worry about retaining is Robbie Keane. The Irish international and vice-captain has expressed his contentment with living in Los Angeles and playing for Galaxy. It was his leadership – and goals – widely regarded as key to the team’s dominance after the All-Star break. Should Donovan depart Galaxy, Arena has a ready-made captain in Keane to take his place.
And finally, Galaxy face the monumental task of replacing the departing Beckham with a figure who can perform at least to his level on the field – even if he cannot match Beckham’s dominance off of it. Real Madrid midfielder Kaká has been a lightening rod for rumors as of late whenever talk turns to a post-Beckham superstar, but Arena and Galaxy executives have remained coy throughout the weekend when asked if talks were underway.
An unavoidable certainty looms for Los Angeles as they rest and regroup heading into the new year: MLS’ marquee team must be prepared for the 2012-2013 CONCACAF Champion’s League elimination rounds. The team – and the league – grow increasingly expectant of bringing the region’s top club honor to American soil. Like the 2011-2012 tournament, Los Angeles is regarded as a heavyweight contender, but the team will want to avoid a glass-jaw knockout blow like the one it received in last year’s tournament from Toronto FC.
But talk of 2013 can wait… at least for one more night. Los Angeles faithful took advantage of an evening meant to celebrate the 2012 campaign and the men who endured a nightmare start only to bring home silverware for a second consecutive year.
In addition to English, these players and coaching staff shared the You Can Play message in the languages from their home countries:
- Defender Richard Eckersley
- Goalkeeper Stefan Frei
- Midfielder Torsten Frings
- Forward Eric Hassli
- Goalkeeper Milos Kocic
- Head Coach Paul Mariner
- Defender Darren O’Dey
- Academy Director Thomas Rongen
- Midfielder Luis Silva
Toronto FC’s participation in You Can Play is a great testament to its commitment to the diversity of the city in which they play, and to all of the LGBT players, staff, and fans out there. Toronto also has a very special connection to You Can Play, with the Maple Leafs’ Brian Burke on the advisory board.
Thank you Toronto FC!
CARSON (g4s) — Much of the media’s attention this week has been focused on the impending departure of LA Galaxy’s David Beckham and possible retirement/departure of his teammate and captain, Landon Donovan. Lost in that discuss is the uncertain future of another MLS and US National Team mainstay (and gay4soccer #soccerally), Houston Dynamo’s Brian Ching.
Ching took time out of his practice session yesterday to talk about his health, his career plans and ending his career where he “always wanted to be.”
“The little hiccup with Montreal is over and in the past,” said Ching, downplaying the drama that started the season when Dynamo played fast and loose with the expansion draft rules, leaving Ching off of its protected list secure in the assumption that Montreal would pass him over. What resulted was just short of a hostage situation, with Montreal insisting on playing their new target forward and Houston scrambling to recover a man whose play and fan appeal cemented the team’s reputation with locals when Dynamo relocated (and rebranded) from San Jose nearly seven years ago.
Fortunately for Ching, Houston and Montreal came to a trade compromise and Ching returned to Houston, putting in a solid campaign for his side. Plagued by knee problems throughout his career, Ching played in 30 league matches this year — starting only 13 of them — while notching five goals and five assists. He acknowledges that it hasn’t been easy.
“I’ve had a lot of injuries over my career,” Ching replied when asked about his physical condition. “To be honest, sometimes I needed a little bit of help to get through games.”
Whether Ching decides to end his playing days after tomorrow’s MLS Cup final, he intends to repay Houston’s loyalty to him in another capacity – plans he says have already been discussed with his team’s front office.
“I definitely want to be a part of of the organization. I’ve sat down and talked with [Houston Pres of Business Operations] Chris Canetti and they’re going to make room form me. As far as what that is yet, we’ll wait and see.”
In all of the nominating, voting, and presenting of our end of the season awards, someone stood out so much that it was decided to add an award for Person of the Year.
The winner of Person of the Year 2012 is…
Was there any doubt? Megan was your pick for Best Goal Celebrations, Best Hair, Person You Want to See on MLS 36, Cutest Couple, Most Likely to Change the World, and Story of the Year. And she was nominated in countless other categories as well.
Thank you so much Megan for your awesome play on the field, the fun you bring us off of it, and the inspiration you always provide for so many people. We love ya.
Megan Rapinoe is on the cover of Canada’s Xtra Magazine. Check out her interview.