Chris Seitz, A.J. DeLaGarza, and Omar Gonzalez have joined the Athlete Ally program, aimed at encouraging and welcoming LGBT participation in sports.Read more
Grant Wahl conducted a survey of MLS players and found that an overwhelming majority said a gay soccer player would be accepted in their locker room.Read more
The final word on the 2012 Major League Soccer All Star Game may very well be the league’s excellent video, a great mix of highlights and unique behind-the-scenes footage:
Thanks to everyone who was part of our party, to all who work so hard to put the week on, and to everyone I met who made the experience so memorable.
We’re wrapping up MLS All Star Game coverage today, first with my favorite photos from the game and afterward.
Pregame fireworks and an MLS highlights video pump up the crowd:
Banners representing the nineteen Major League Soccer teams are unfurled while the crowd does the first of two card stunts:
It was a great deal of fun to be a part of the Castrol USA Media Cup ahead of the 2012 MLS All Star Game.
I had gone mainly to spectate and cheer on friends, but was quickly recruited to be a referee for matches, along with an intern from the University of Pennsylvania.
With background accompaniment of a raucous River End, the game started off with a good deal of pressure from Chelsea, with the All Stars making a few good runs that just didn’t end well. Ally Chris Wondolowski, however, was able to convert a so-so pass into the first goal of the night in the 21st minute of the match. Minutes later a midfield collision between Aurélien Collin and Michael Essien led to medical attention for Collin, a brief return to the game, then his eventual substitution with hometown captain and ally Carlos Valdes.
Before that could happen though, Chelsea captain John Terry evened the scoring with a header assisted by Frank Lampard. The half rounded out with a very nice shot from Tierry Henry after service from David Beckham and Landon Donovan in the 42nd minute, some of the biggest players on the field working very well together.
Just a block from where the Declaration of Independence was adopted, members of the 2012 MLS All Star Team and Chelsea FC met to face reporters ahead of tonight’s match.
If bringing an English team together with the All Stars of America’s league so close to the site of where our independence from England was forged was a bit of intentional irony, bravo Major League Soccer staffers.
The giant MLS All Star soccer ball sat atop the Independence Visitors Center as part of its latest stop around the city of Philadelphia.
In early May, the NOH8 Campaign made a swing through Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. At their Vancouver stop, Whitecaps defenders and allies Jay DeMerit, Jordan Harvey, and Michael Boxall (now with the Wellington Phoenix) all participated.
The NOH8 Campaign began as a silent protest to Proposition 8 in California, but has continued on since then to stand up for not only marriage, but all human equality.
It’s a great testament to the dedication of these players to the cause of equality that they took the time out of their schedules to be a part of the Vancouver event.
Wednesday’s home win against the Portland Timbers ended a poor run of form for Chivas USA and brought promise to the team heading into Saturday’s Superclasico matchup against the LA Galaxy. However, an extremely poor first half set the stage for the 4-1 loss to the cross town rivals.
The Goats came out on Wednesday with a bit of a different lineup – Ryan Smith was inserted for Blair Gavin, with Alejandro Moreno as the lone striker. John Valencia also started in the defense for Raushawn McKenzie, though this seemed to be more of a rest thing with the Superclasico coming up. The team got off to a promising start, scoring an early goal in the 15th minute. Ryan Smith charged forward and passed the ball along the front of goal to Miller Bolaños who tapped it in. Of course I picked that moment to go to the bathroom at the Home Depot Center and missed it happen live. Nothing else really happened to speak of, and the match ended 1-0. I felt that it was a promising performance leading up to Saturday’s game as they showed some offensive sparks that had previously been missing.
No more teasing.
We are very happy to announce that the Philadelphia Union have taken the step of becoming a Soccer Ally with us here at gay4soccer, the first team in Major League Soccer to do so.
They are boldly agreeing to a pledge similar to the charter every English Premier League team signed last winter, to combat homophobia and transphobia, and make soccer a more inclusive place for the LGBT community:
- We agree that everyone should be able to participate in, watch and enjoy sports — whoever they are and whatever their background.
- We agree that sports are about fairness and equality, respect and dignity. Sports teach individuals how to strive and succeed, how to cope with success and disappointment, and bring people together to achieve a common goal.
- We are committed to making these values a reality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. We will work together, and individually, to rid the game of soccer of homophobia and transphobia.
- We will make soccer a welcome, inviting, and inclusive place for everyone — for those participating in the sport, those attending matches and for those working or volunteering in it — while making adeliberate effort to reach out to GLBT people. We will work with all these groups to ensure they have a voice, and to challenge unacceptable behavior, including working to eliminate homophobic language from the game.
It was such a pleasure to announce this to the crowd at Tabu last night as part of this special week for soccer in Philadelphia. We look forward to working with the staff and team at the Union to putting this pledge into action and working with other teams to sign on to the pledge as well.
Thank you so much to everyone who came out last night for our first party! Hopefully many, many more to come.
A few special thanks:
To Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar for being such great hosts.
To Magners Cider for sponsoring the event and having great cider tastings.
Finally, to Alexi Lalas and Taylor Twellman for taking time out of their busy All Star Game schedules to join us.
Now, on to the photos!
I was stuck in my New Orleans on a stormy Friday afternoon when I first the news. I am now in a Philadelphia hotel room on a sunny afternoon reflecting on the news.
Major League Soccer will not partner with the Boy Scouts of America after the 2012 season.
When the partnership was announced in January, we were upset. The league we love would be working with and sending money to an organization that, as a national policy, wouldn’t have us as members.
To MLS’ credit, the Scouts said the policy was under review, especially after the outcry following the dismissal of out Ohio leader Jennifer Tyrell. There was a potential that the Scouts could do the right thing, and a number of Board members even publicly said they would be in favor of a change.
But last week the Boy Scouts dug in their heels last week and said that they would not enact any changes to their policy following a two-year review. Many expressed outrage, and even Eagle Scout Grant Wahl said that MLS needed to cut their Boy Scout ties:
This Eagle Scout thinks MLS needs to cut ties to Boy Scouts after their reaffirmation of anti-gay policy washingtonpost.com/national/apnew…
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) July 17, 2012