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Soccer Culture

25 April 4:53 pm

Remember those Columbus Crew kits that made news headlines earlier this year?

Well, they made an appearance in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night in a match that will likely go down as one of the greatest in Chelsea FC history: a 2-2 draw in Barcelona which earned Chelsea a spot in the final.

Sure, the Chelsea stripes are horizontal and the Crew's go vertical, but the concept is basically the same. And Columbus Crew president Mark McCullers made sure to let everyone know earlier today:

 

25 April 12:10 pm

As Real Madrid and Brazil star Kaka ticks over the 10 million followers mark on Twitter — a quite remarkable feat — which other athletes generate the most interest from fans, journalists and other professionals worldwide?

Four out of the top five followed athletes are soccer players, once again proving soccer's global appeal. This is what Kaka had to say:

Here are the top five followed athletes on Twitter on the planet:

1. Kaka – 10,014,735 million

2. Cristiano Ronaldo - 9,015,170 million

3. LeBron James - 4,340,534 million

4. Neymar - 4,102,275 million

5. Wayne Rooney - 3,942,544 million

24 April 3:34 pm

Washington Wizards star point guard John Wall showed MLS some love the other day, but not the kind D.C. sports fans want to see. Wall wasn't sporting a D.C. United jersey, but the shirt of fierce rivals, the New York Red Bulls. Ouch.

The first overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft was recently spotted showing off his Red Bulls jersey at Club Play in Miami Beach.

After a stellar career at the University of Kentucky, Wall has carved out a name for himself in the NBA, finishing runner-up for Rookie of the Year honors in 2011.

Wall grew up in North Carolina, so why the Red Bulls jersey, United fans might be asking?

Beats me.

Also, one last lingering thought. Did he bust out the cult “John Wall dance” which gave him so much popularity during his college days, while in the club? Did he do so with New York colors on his back?

Answers on a postcard, please.

(Photo via Urban Party Life

20 April 4:18 pm

To be clear, I didn't oversell that headline.

Sporting Kansas City's Bobby Convey really is in his bathrobe in the club's new video series "#FollowFriday with Bobby Convey." He really does have a dog on his lap...pay close attention to the identity of said pup.

He also starts the video with a disclaimer: "I'm not on Twitter. I don't ever plan on being on Twitter." Maybe it's just me, but that's exactly what I would expect Convey to say.

If that didn't sell you on hitting play, just trust me that this is gold from the folks in Kansas City, who appear to be having plenty of fun (see Collin's Corner) during their 7-0-0 start.

The best moment comes when Soony Saad reenacts the Lion King with what -- I believe -- are his kittens. Quite a household...Saad, Konrad Warzycha, Dom Dwyer and two fluffy kittens.

20 April 10:44 am

This week, commentators take over as NBC's main man revels in the lighter side of soccer commentary. Rimando and Shea head for a match up off the field and DeLaGarza's on the red carpet.

Don't forget to follow our two official Twitter handles to find out the latest from inside MLS   

NBC Sports chief MLS commentator Arlo White has some fun with the guys from ETR after watching this video of English actor Steve Coogan impersonating a soccer commentator, the proof is in the pudding!

RSL's 'keeper and FC Dallas' star striker may soon have a showdown on the wooden deck of a shuffleboard table, instead of on the pitch. Intense.

LA's young defender is on the red carpet with Snoop and company. Classy.

This well-known college basketball commentator looks to be heading for a career in soccer commentating. What's BG you may ask? Only Gus knows, the "Beautiful Game" perhaps?

Vancouver's captain gets an Easter gift and gives a shout out to his Mom.

If you see a soccer tweet that should be included in our top five, be sure to send it to the @MLS_Insider!

19 April 5:49 pm

David Beckham is one of MLS's -- nay, the world's most high-profile athletes -- and as such, there isn't much that fans don't know about him.

But can you answer these five trivia questions about him? If you do, you could win an LA Galaxy jersey.

19 April 10:58 am

LeBron James’ love for Liverpool keeps growing, so much so that he's now launched his very own Liverpool FC sneaker, the Nike LeBron 9 low.

However the minority owner in LFC seems to have made some big design flaws before the shoes expected release on May 5, the day of Liverpool's FA Cup final match against Chelsea.

The famous “Liver” bird which is the symbol of the city of LIverpool, is placed on the heel of the shoe….but it looks more like a dragon. And emblazoned on the sole of the shoe are 18 logos of Premier League trophies. Yet Liverpool have never won the EPL title.... but they have won the English league title 18 times; which is a completely different trophy.

The original story announcing the sneaker release on the New England Sports Network (NESN) has been removed, after angry responses from Liverpool fans about the botched design.

Back to the drawing board, LeBron.

(Images from NESN.com)

19 April 10:47 am

When a big-name sings the national anthem at a sporting event, there’s usually not much of a connection between the singer and the team they're singing for.

That will be far from the case with Brad Corrigan, the lead singer from famed indie-rock band Dispatch, who will be singing the national anthem Saturday when the Rapids battle the LA Galaxy at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (9 pm EST, MLS LIVE). Corrigan has developed a friendship with several Rapids players after being a regular at Rapids games for years. And now, the Denver native will get the chance to sing in front of his friends and fellow fans Saturday night.

“I’ve always wanted to do this,” Corrigan told MLSsoccer.com this week. “I’ve been nervously excited all week. It will really be one of the highlights of my life.”

Corrigan’s passion for the Rapids began in earnest last year, when a mutual friend first introduced Rapids winger Wells Thompson to the singer. Over a cup of coffee, the two discussed Thompson’s honeymoon (Thompson got married last December), and Corrigan helped set Thompson up with a one-week vacation working with a non-profit group in Nicaragua.

“We just hit it off,” said Corrigan, who plans to attend several Rapids games this summer. “It’s just been fun. I couldn’t be more passionate about the Rapids and the guys.”

Corrigan’s friendships quickly extended beyond Thompson. Captain Pablo Mastroeni, a big Dispatch fan himself, got in touch with Corrigan as well, and now the two have also become good friends. Right back Kosuke Kimura is also a new friend of Corrigan’s. And who knows, by the end of the season, the whole team could be doing dinner at Corrigan’s house.

“They’re an awesome bunch of guys,” said Corrigan, who regularly speaks with Thompson, Mastroeni and Kimura.

While Corrigan has become a big Rapids fan -- he plans on attended 10 to 12 Rapids home games this summer -- Saturday’s national anthem rendition will be a warm up of sorts. On May 30th, Corrigan will take his talents to Landover, Md., to sing before the US men’s national team battles Brazil at FedEx Field.

But in the meantime, Corrigan will have to settle for singing in front of David Beckham, Landon Donovan and his new-found friends clad in burgundy. And he couldn’t be more excited.

“It’s an indescribable honor,” Corrigan said.

Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.

DISPATCH: ZIMBABWE - "GENERAL" - LIVE AT MADISON SQUAR

DISPATCH | Myspace Music Videos

18 April 8:54 am

David Beckham has gone one step closer to making his dream of appearing for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics a reality.

On Wednesday head coach Stuart Pearce and the Football Association announced that an initial squad list of 191 players has been whittled down to 80, with Beckham making the cut. Wales’ Gareth Bale and Craig Bellamy and Englishman Joe Cole also made the list, however any player playing for England at Euro 2012 will not be selected.

The LA Galaxy man reminded fans in the US and worldwide what he is still capable of, with a wonder goal against the Portland Timbers during his side’s 3-1 win on Saturday.

Beckham — who grew up in East London where the games will be held — is keen to be part of Great Britain’s Olympic soccer squad, after helping the team’s successful bidding process way back in 2005.

The draw for the tournament will take place next Tuesday, April 24, as Beckham and the United Kingdom hope for a kind draw on home soil.

Teams Qualified for Olympic Soccer Tournament: Great Britain, Brazil, Belarus, Spain, Switzerland, Mexico, Uruguay, New Zealand, Honduras, South Korea, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Gabon, Morocco, Egypt, Oman or Senegal (AFC-CAF Playoff taking place on 23rd April)

16 April 5:43 pm

Let's play a game of "Name That Soccer Nation!"

  • Yellow jerseys = ?
  • Blue jerseys = ?
  • Light-blue-and-white-striped jerseys = ?

You got them right, didn't you? Because Brazil, Italy, and Argentina have long-defined aesthetic identities. You turn on the TV and if one of them -- or Holland or Spain or Germany -- is playing, you can recognize them without even a second glance. In other words, you know what those jerseys stand for before you even hear who is wearing them.

Now think back over the past couple of decades of US jerseys. How many can you remember?

The denim kit, of course. Novelty is always easy. There was a sash or two, I think, but I'm not sure I remember the color of said sashes. Then there was that gun-metal gray thing that still makes me think the designer spilled mercury on his keyboard when he was typing in the CMYK code.

Anyway, on Monday, US Soccer revealed the latest new US national team jersey, as they do every two years or so. To be perfectly honest, I don't mind it. It's got decent colors, a little character, and with apologies to FC Dallas is relatively unique on the international stage.

But then again, I didn't mind any of the other ones.

And that's the point: None of them ever sticks around long enough for me to care one way or the other. Which seems to suggest that the US lacks a true identity. I guess that's part of what Jurgen Klinsmann talks about when he talks about "finding the American style" and all that other stuff. Maybe, just maybe, he'll convince the federaion that to truly ever define the American style of playing, it would be good once and for all to define the American style of dressing.