Posts tagged mls cup

MLS Cup 2013

MLS Cup Weekend 2013 Video Recap

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MLS Cup 2013As usual Major League Soccer put on an outstanding weekend for MLS Cup 2013 along with hosts and match victors Sporting Kansas City.

It was great to experience the final first-hand for the first time and to share some of the moments with you as we launched a new YouTube Channel. If you missed any of the moments over the weekend here are the compilation videos we shared created using Google’s Auto Awesome video program.

MLS and Sporting KC put on a World Cup Draw watch event at Sporting Park’s Members Club. It was great to watch the draw with a few National Team players in attendance to see their instant reactions and hang out with local fans.

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Amid Uncertainty, LA Galaxy Celebrate MLS Cup Win

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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.

MLS Cup 2012: Brian Ching Talks Retirement

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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.”

(Photo courtesy of philadelphiaunion.com)

Philadelphia Union Loses, but the New Kits Look Great

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The Philadelphia Union’s 3-1 loss Monday to the Portland Timbers was an extremely disappointing event, to say the least.

There were highs and then there was the last 3rd of the match. As the resonance from our collective facepalm dissipates, we are left to hope that the Union’s individual talent just needs to marinade a little longer. But there is an upside: the 2012 kit. The blue uniforms looked great on TV and Zac MacMath’s muted orange kit wins the evening.

(Photo courtesy of philadelphiaunion.com)

Lime green; seen it. Bright yellow; been there. Light Blue; so last season. Black? Really? Isn’t the point to stand out and draw the eye to you? Nope. Orange. US National Team Goalkeeper Tim Howard’s favorite color, but be sure to avoid distraction so you won’t get in an auto accident, then you’ll have to ‘borange all the way to the stadium’!

What a wonderful addition to last year’s offerings.

Follow me at @JerseyJ9 on Twitter. DOOP!

 

Meet Justin, Our New FC Dallas Writer…

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The World Cup is arguably, if not factually, the world’s largest sporting event. With the amount of media coverage that it draws, even in the historically soccer-hostile environment that is the United States, they are bound to reach a few people who have never been exposed to it before. Such was the case in 2010.

I had never watched a professional soccer match before the 2010 World Cup, but thanks in part to Twitter’s participation in the proceedings I gave it a shot. Whether by mere coincidence or because fate demanded it, I happened to be a witness to one of the greatest moments in modern US soccer history.  Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. This one.

When it was all over, I had found my new passion. I’d always been a fan of sports–baseball especially– but the excitement and goosebumps I get when I see that goal replayed even to this day are feelings that have only been replicated a few times in any other sport.

Naturally I soon discovered the MLS and FC Dallas, and they have been my primary club ever since. Some people laugh and scoff when I tell them that the Hoops are my preferred clubs amongst my list of sides who I support, but they are my home club, and always will be. I was lucky enough to have discovered them in the midst of their run to the MLS Cup Final, only to have experienced the absolute heartbreak and despair that only a terribly unlucky bounce in extra time could produce. I had never experienced a disappointment like that before 2010. Nowadays I know that while it hurts to lose, the day after that terrible loss is just the first day of looking forward to the next match.

I had also never been a member of a supporter’s group before 2010, but now I’m looking forward to renewing my Inferno membership for the new year.

I may be new to the beautiful game, but it has come to dominate my sports consciousness, and I’m excited to be able to write about it for gay4soccer.

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