Posts tagged mls
I hate Star Wars Day.
Well, not really. If you’re a fan of something and want to celebrate it, bully for you. Towel Day, Fish Fingers and Custard Day, Star Wars Day–if someone comes up with a day to celebrate your sci-fi proclivities, have at it. My problem is Major League Soccer latching on to one of these such days and jamming down our throats for a few weeks of the season. (At least The Doctor likes his footie.)
It’s gimmicky. It reminds us of the days when the Kansas City Wizards danced around to Austin Powers music and the league overly catered to the suburban family who might be out looking for a super-fun day rather than celebrating the game that is being played and the fans that enjoy the match for the match. Nonsense like that Austin Powers video is one of the reasons I was a soccer-hater for so many years.
And will Star Wars Day help grow the game? No, probably not. Is there some Star Wars fan thinking, “Well I’ve never been to PPL Park before, but I heard it’s Star Wars Day so I’ll give it a try?” No. Is there someone pondering, “I’ve never watched soccer on TV before but I’ll tune into NBC Sports Network because I bet Kyle Martino has some killer Chewbacca jokes?” No.
It’s also a bit more than frustrating that Star Wars Day (which won’t grow the game) is this heavy handed league-wide thing and proper LGBT Pride Nights (which will grow the game) are sparse. I know of one on the schedule so far this upcoming season. (By the way, Houston front office, you rock.) Proper LGBT Pride Nights will grow the game by welcoming a group into our stadia that often feels excluded as both participants and spectators for so many reasons from athletics in this country. And yet they are not yet a priority for this league.
Now Major League Soccer, how about you put down your light sabres and work on things that will actually help grow the game in this country. Not having nationally broadcast matches that run until 1 AM Monday morning would be a swell start.
US Soccer and Major League Soccer alumnus Jimmy Conrad had the opportunity to preview every new MLS jersey for KICKTV on YouTube. Let this tide you over until we conclude our series of new jersey reviews come next week, when we’ll have our views on Seattle, Los Angeles, Chivas USA, and Portland from myself and our writing crew.
Props to him that while getting special access from adidas he isn’t afraid to point out how there doesn’t seem to be anything different about the Red Bulls’ jersey. As he points out in the video, Jimmy Conrad is no stranger to debuting new kits for MLS teams:
Glad to have MLS coverage back on KICK for the new season!
Grant Wahl conducted a preseason survey of MLS players and found that an overwhelming majority said a gay soccer player would be accepted in their locker room.
Wahl, senior writer for Sports Illustrated, spoke with 18 players on the condition of anonymity. He specified on Twitter that while anonymous, these players were veterans and some of the best players in the league, “clubhouse leaders [and] thought influencers.”
The specific question he posed was, “Would a gay player be accepted in your team’s locker room?” 17 players said yes. Only one said no.
I really appreciate the anonymity Wahl allowed the players here. I don’t think we would have gotten the answer of “no” with a fear of wanting to appear politically correct. While Major League Soccer would be a great environment for an out player–and I say the best in the US–it shows we aren’t one hundred percent there yet in all corners of the league and we still have some work to do. That honesty is important to the process and a great reminder of the work ahead.
You can check out all the results of Wahl’s survey at si.com.
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.
Major League Soccer is joining GLAAD in going purple for this year’s Spirit Day on October 19.
Spirit Day is now an annual event to speak out against bullying and show support for LGBT youth through millions of Americans wearing the color purple. It was started in 2010 by high schooler Brittany McMillan who encouraged her friends to wear purple in memory of LGBT youth who have committed suicide. It has since grown to include celebrities, business entities like the New York Stock Exchange, and now sports leagues like Major League Soccer.
The NBA and WNBA are also participating this year. Major League Soccer will feature Spirit day on its social media platforms.
You can take the pledge to participate in this year’s Spirit Day at the GLAAD website.
Now maybe MLS clubs can wear purple armbands that weekend too…
This post appears in its entirety at The MLS Reserves.
Torsten Frings is undoubtedly one of most recognizable figures in Major League Soccer. He’s a well-decorated player whose reputation precedes him, having won domestic league and cup titles in Germany, and winning a bronze medal at the 2006 World Cup. Once a world-class midfielder revered the world over, the Toronto FC fans quickly became enamored with their new potential superstar. They surely believed he’d be able to help lead the club to greatness with his combination of leadership, skill, and experience. Is the fans’ faith in Frings misplaced?
Since his arrival, Frings has just simply failed to deliver. In his “rookie” season in MLS, Frings managed just 1 assist in 13 games. Things haven’t gotten much better for Frings, nor for Toronto FC in 2012. Although scoring twice this season, his two assists as a central midfielder and ultimately the focal point of the entire squad is absolutely abysmal. One might argue that Frings simply isn’t an attacking minded player. While his role is mainly as a defensive midfielder he posted better offensive statistics for every other club he had ever played for, in a league far superior to MLS. Surely he should be succeeding at Toronto, with full backing of the fans, the FO and rarely playing less than 90 minutes a match. Yet there’s one major factor that is overlooked.
Check out the rest of Stephen’s post over at The MLS Reserves.
Major League Soccer will be one of many sports properties whose events will appear live on the new NBC Sports Live Extra App.
If you already have the NBC Olympics Live Extra App, updates will switch it automatically switch to the overall NBC Sports App starting today.
The info released so far did not say if the app would cover national team games that air on NBC or NBC Sports Network.
So says RantSports.com’s Jessica Luther in a follow-up piece about Major League Soccer cutting ties with the Boy Scouts of America:
Major League Soccer, more than any other men’s professional sports league in the US, has been a vocal proponent of LGBT equality. In May, when it announced that it would participate in the “You Can Play” project, which works to end homophobia in sports culture, MLS executive vice president JoAnn Neale said, “MLS W.O.R.K.S. [the league’s charitable arm] is committed to working alongside groups that support LGBT causes and equality.”
After being left off the game-day roster in this past weekend’s 1-1 tie with FC Dallas due to “personal reasons,” it was revealed yesterday that Los Angeles Galaxy netminder Josh Saunders has been enrolled in Major League Soccer’s substance abuse and behavioral health program.
The team asserts that Saunders has not failed a league-administered drug test but has declined to provide more information.
(This post was inspired by a short Twitter conversation with SBNation writer Kevin McCauley, and based on the recent furor over Simon Borg’s comments during the April 30th edition of the ExtraTime Radio podcast — also posted on Waking The Red. )
Hey, how are ya? It’s me, John.
You probably don’t know me yet (or you never will…either way), but I am a huge TFC supporter. I’ve been that way for about six years now. I live in Calgary, which means I have to travel to a lot of TFC matches. In six years, I’ve been to almost all the stadiums on the West Coast, and wear my TFC swag proudly around town.
Oh, but there’s something you probably should know about me: I do bat for the other team…yep, queerer than a three dollar bill. AND I’m seeing someone, too — who doesn’t happen to be a soccer fan. I know, shocking right? I’ll give you a few moments to recover from the shock.
Anyway, where were we? Oh right…me. As I was saying, I’m seeing someone right now, who is a huge science fiction fan. I don’t claim to be an expert on shows like Battlestar Galatica, but does that make him less appealing to me? Nope. The opposite is true; he knows I am a sports fan, and knows about my TFC supporting ways. Does he have a problem with me spending my time writing and covering the team for SBNation? Heck, if he did…he would’ve dumped me right after my trip to LA for the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final.