“Don’t Cross the Line” to Feature at MLS All Star Game

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Major League Soccer announced today that their All Star Game opponents AS Roma will be picking up the mantle of the “Don’t Cross the Line” campaign, and that the initiative will be featured heavily in Kansas City at the end of the month.

Major League Soccer Don't Cross the Line

Don’t Cross the Line kicked off with an anti-discrimination video produced at last year’s All Star Game in Philadelphia. Roma will produce a public service announcement of their own under the theme, taking a lead in Serie A on the issue. “We are proud to take a part in the ‘Don’t Cross the Line’ program alongside Major League Soccer. AS Roma will always be committed to campaigns whose objectives are to reach out to the world of sport on social themes such as the fight against racism and any form of discrimination,” AS Roma President James Pallotta told MLSSoccer.com.

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Megan Rapinoe Jimmy Conrad sports bra

Megan Rapinoe Wooed (Again) by Jimmy Conrad

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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.

Megan Rapinoe Jimmy Conrad sports braHis 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.

San Jose Earthquakes Shea Salinas

Earthquakes Reserves Match to Benefit You Can Play

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San Jose Earthquakes Shea Salinas

San Jose winger Shea Salinas speaks out for the You Can Play Project. He has been in the lineup for the last two reserve matches, both wins.

On Monday, July 15, the San Jose Earthquakes Reserves take on USL PRO’s Antigua Barracuda FC in a match benefiting the You Can Play Project.

The match will take place at San Francisco’s Kezar Stadium, the former home of the San Francisco 49ers located in Golden Gate Park. Tickets, available from the Quakes Front Office and at the stadium on game day, are $10 with all proceeds benefiting the work of You Can Play.

San Jose and You Can Play’s relationship began when YCP was chosen to provide diversity training after Alan Gordon used a gay slur during a game earlier this season. Not only did they work with Gordon, but they also brought their training to the entire team and academy. Since then You Can Play and all of Major League Soccer have entered a formal partnership and the Quakes have participated in two You Can Play videos.

The match against Antigua is the Quakes Reserves’ only match against USL PRO competition this season. They have 2 wins and 3 losses so far against MLS Reserves competitors.

Details on the match, including how Season Ticket Holders can get free vouchers for Appreciation Week, are at the Quakes’ website.

Gratuitous Sporting Kansas City Shirtless Post

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Anyone else having a slow day before the holiday weekend? Well here’s a video of Sporting Kansas City’s Dom Dwyer and Soony Saad.

Shirtless.

In slow motion.

With sexy music playing in the background.

Created by the YouTube Channel of The Distrubutor Network, presumably to mark Dom Dwyer’s return to Sporting after being on loan to Orlando City SC and reuniting one of Major League Soccer’s great bromances.

Chicago Fire Pride Night

Chicago Fire Rocks the Chicago Pride Parade

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Major League Soccer was well represented at Pride celebrations across the country this past weekend, including the Chicago Fire participating in their city’s annual parade.

Midfielder Brendan King and defender Gonzalo Segares (who was just named the MLS Works Humanitarian of the Month for June) rode the Pepsi float along with mascot Sparky. Members of the Chicago Fire staff and Section 8 supporters group also marched along with the float.

Chicago Fire Pride Parade

You can check out the Fire’s full Storify of great pictures from the parade at their website.

The Fire also used the parade as an opportunity to let the community know about their next LGBT Pride Night coming up on September 28 against the Montreal Impact:

Chicago Fire Pride Night

Two More Colleges Sign On With You Can Play

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UC Berkeley and the Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute have joined the many American colleges who have made videos for the You Can Play Project.

Men’s Soccer head coach Kevin Grimes is among the participants in the video from UC Berkeley, spreading the message that athletes are welcome at Cal solely on the basis of ability, regardless of sexual orientation.

Cal alumni who stand with us as allies include Houston’s Calen Carr, Toronto’s Stefan Frei (who was in that team’s YCP video), Dallas’ Andrew Jacobson, New England’s A.J. Soares, and Toronto’s Andrew Wiedeman.
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Chicago Fire Sparky Pride

American Soccer Gears Up for Pride Weekend

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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.

Chicago Fire Sparky PrideThe 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.

Seattle Reign Pride ShirtThe 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.

San Jose Earthquakes Alan Gordon

San Jose Earthquakes Say “You Can Play”

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The San Jose Earthquakes have become the third team in Major League Soccer to produce a video supporting LGBT athletes for the You Can Play Project.

According to You Can Play founder Patrick Burke, the effort was spearheaded by Alan Gordon who recruited his teammates and got the team’s front office on board. Burke met with the entire San Jose Earthquakes team and academy after Gordon used a gay slur on the field earlier this season.

San Jose Earthquakes Alan GordonAppearing in the video are forward Chris Wondolowski, forward Steven Lenhart, midfielder Shea Salinas, midfielder Sam Cronin, forward Alan Gordon, defender Justin Morrow, defender Steven Beitashour, and defender Jason Hernandez.  (Thanks to Robert Jonas for an assist on identifying all the participants)

DC United and Toronto FC have also made videos for You Can Play, and Chris Wondolowski participated in a video with players from every major Bay Area professional team.

Go Quakes!

Houston Dynamo Supporters

Houston Dynamo Welcomes LGBT Fans for Pride in the Park

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The Houston Dynamo honored Pride Houston again this past Saturday with their now-annual Pride in the Park match, this year against Toronto FC.

As I’ve said in a prior post, the Dynamo do a great job putting on this game, but this year the fans really stepped it up with some special displays. One fan Scott Schroder brought balloons that were released after the national anthem. It was really cool to see in the stadium and he captured it on Vine:

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NASL Weekend Roundup – Week 12

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It was a weekend of many goals and much excitement throughout the NASL over this past weekend.

The Carolina Railhawks overcame a 1-2 deficit in the final 4 minutes of the match to steal a 3-2 victory over Minnesota.  Minnesota United FC got out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to goals from  Simone Bracalello and former RailHawk Pablo Campos.  A Floyd Franks spot kick then drew a goal back for the RailHawks just before half time.  Despite dominating Minnesota in both possession and shots, the RailHawks had again found themselves trailing their opponents heading into the closing minutes of the match.  Just as they’d done several times already this season, the RailHawks managed to not only equalize, but win the match with a brace from NASL player of the week and leading scorer, Brian Shriver.

When asked about what was going through his mind being down a goal with 10 minutes to play, Shriver said, “Actually, I was confident we’d get the equalizer.  We were creating a lot of opportunities, and we’ve shown a lot of fight all year.  I was feeling good about it.”  He later went on to describe his feelings after scoring the game winner, “I was ecstatic!  It was a huge goal for us, and to get all 3 points was great for the team and the fans.  And it was a huge step to winning the first part of the season.”

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