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MLS Insider

05 March 2:06 pm

Watching a couple of pros like TFC players Eric Avila, Oscar Cordon & Keith Makubuya juggle a ball can be fun. Standing in the middle of their circle would be better. And being able to stand in the middle of the circle without getting nailed by the ball is best.

Check out this cool, interactive clip shot last week during some downtime at the Disney tournament. Use your mouse to turn the camera 360 degrees and follow the boucing ball. Fun stuff.

05 March 1:01 pm

Former MLS & USMNT defender Jimmy Conrad: "What percentage of your players play for the money and how many play for the love of the game?"

American soccer uber-agent Richard Motzkin: "What did you do, Jimmy?"

Jimmy Conrad: "Of course it's for the love of the game."

 

Jimmy Conrad is a liar. A talented, tall, funny liar.

05 March 12:19 pm

Last Friday I went to a NBA game with Sporting KC. Aurelien Collin was among the players that went and was by far the biggest tip-off to the non-soccer fans seated around us that they were among pro athletes (Frenchman wearing metal-studded sneakers, a sleeveless shirt and a leather biker vest tend to stick out at an Orlando Magic game).

I love his eccentricity and a personality this big needs its own show. So won't you return to Collin's Corner with me?

02 March 2:05 pm

I promise you this was not set up.

Whitecaps forward Eric Hassli spent today's post-practice media availability talking up his teammates as players but also citing new sense of camaraderie among the team as a reason for their impressive preseason form (they've been the best team here in Orlando, at least for my money). And then, as if on cue, this happened. It's like the soccer gods willed it to offer proof to the world that what Hassli spoke was the truth.

There's no doubt that the Whitecaps will fare better in 2012 than they did last year and that they now seem more like a team that 11 guys wearing the same colored shirt --that's the Impact's problem now. We'll just have to wait and see if their good times will roll all the way to MLS Cup.

02 March 10:16 am

Who's up for a bit of punk rock fiddly-dee to go along with their footie?

If that'd be you then make your way to Crew Stadium on May 26 to catch a full, 90 minute show from Celtic punk stalwarts Flogging Molly presented by CD101 after the Columbus Crew - Chicago Fire match. VIP field access tickets will be available for purchase at www.thecrew.com/floggingmolly.

Apparently Flogging Molly drummer George Schwindt is a Columbus native and has been a Crew season-ticket holder for the last five years. This leads me to a great idea, at least in my mind, for the next All Star game: half time punk rock drum-off between him and Branden Steineckert. Loser's band has to open for the other band wearing the kits of the winner's club!

02 March 1:03 am

My trip down to the Disney Pro Soccer Classic has been a trip of many firsts: my first time in Orlando, my first trip to Disney. Add my first NBA game to the list as I just spent an evening with the guys from Sporting KC basking in the vertically-gifted glow of Kevin Durant and Dwight Howard.

For the Sporting KC players, staff, ownership and family, it was a fun night away from the tedium of the practice field and the hotel. For me it was an opportunity to see a bit of live sport that wasn't soccer --a very rare treat-- and to catch up with a few players I hadn't seen in a while like CJ Sapong, Kei Kamara and Chance Myers. I also got to see Aurelien Collin rock a leather vest over a sleeveless shirt while wearing sneakers covered in metal spikes; who knew Mad Max had a French cousin who played centerback?

Teal Bunbury was also in the house, fresh off of the U.S. Olympic team's victory over Mexico last night in Dallas. Unfortunately for him rookie Dom Dwyer was also there to. Check out the clip above and you'll see what I mean.

02 March 12:37 am

Do you know what I love more than ice cream and Sacha Kljestan's moustache? Eric Wynalda talking US Soccer. 

Sure, you or I may not agree with a lot of what he has to say but you can't argue that he's always entertaining. Hear what the US World Cup veteran had to say about the Yanks' big win over Italy yesterday on today's episode of Kick's The Mixer. Come for the Wynalda, stay for the Conrad.

01 March 5:49 pm

It was a festive morning in The City Beautiful as Commissioner Don Garber made a whistle stop in downtown Orlando today. To say the city, Orlando City Soccer Club and its supporters rolled out the red carpet for the commish is an understatement. There were digital billboards like the one pictured above. A banner hung out front of city hall, not far from the statue commemorating the city's 1994 World Cup matches. And then there was the reception the OCSC's supporters gave Garber when he walked into the room.

In a word, it was "raucous".

Though the city's place at the MLS table isn't a forgone conclusion, the sense of excitement in the room for what may lay ahead was palpable, not only from the fans but from OCSC owner Phil Rawlins.

"It was extraordinary to see all the fans out here in the middle of the workday at midweek, a tremendous display of passion. Very heart-warming."

As for next steps, Rawlins plans on staying the current course.

"We're going to keep on doing what we've already done and build on a successful 2011, both on and off the field. Hopefully, as Don said earlier, it's not a matter of "if" but "when."

29 February 6:50 pm

While most of us where tuned in to the USMNT's (surprise?) win over Italy at a bar, online or on our couches, the MLS players that are here in Orlando for the Disney Pro Soccer Challenge took in the game from their hotel rooms.

While the scene played out at team hotels all over town, Kevin Ellis and Dom Dwyer's room might have been the only one with an MLS camera in it. Check out their predictions and first-half thoughts in the clip above. You'll also find out why Kevin Ellis is, also surprisingly, pro-Italia.

29 February 4:55 pm

Not to be a tease but the 2012 version of MLS Fantasy Soccer manager is very close to being released on the gaming public. If you're looking for next-level features like a 'smart bench' with auto substitutes and great prizes like a trip to the 2012 MLS All Star game, MLS Fantasy Manager is a must-play for the upcoming season.

But it's not just about the free stuff and the advanced features; MLS Fantasy Soccer Manager is also pretty to look at. Check out a few screens from this upcoming release and keep an eye on MLSsoccer.com in the coming days for more information.