When his Colorado Rapids fell behind early in last weekend's match against Sporting Kansas City, manager Oscar Pareja kept his composure. He was confident in his players and their ability to fight their way back to salvage a result in the game.
Then again, Pareja knows a thing or two about playing under pressure.
Twenty years ago, Pareja was the star and captain of Independiente Medellin in Colombia, which at the time, was associated with the drug czar Pablo Escobar. In ESPN columnist Rick Reilly's latest column, Pareja tells the story of the time he received an invite to play against Escobar in his government-built prison – an offer he couldn't really refuse, for all the obvious reasons. It's not an easy story for Pareja to tell, but Reilly's column is a worthy read.
It wasn't that the Goats' midfielder is now sporting a mustache. That's no big deal in this age of Movember and hipster irony.
No, it's the style. Gavin's 'stache is downright stylish. It's Salvador Dali-esque, with a twist of Rollie Fingers and a whisp of Errol Flynn. It should be honored by the American Mustache Institute.
Anyway, it got us thinking about some of the other mustaches in recent MLS history, such as David Horst's "Horstache" or Heath Pearce's homage to John Oates or even Sacha Kljestan's Inspector Clouseau look.
And of course, we then had to know: Which is the best?
The UEFA Champions League final will never be forgotten by Chelsea fans around the world, including in New York City.
And, courtesy of Kick TV, you'll see many of them in the video below as they react to Chelsea's PK shootout victory over Bayern Munich in Saturday's final outside of Legends, a Chelsea fan bar in New York.
We'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
You may have heard that the New York Red Bulls traded Juan Agudelo to Chivas USA for Heath Pearce on Thursday.
It's a move that raises lots of interesting questions. Are young players getting enough match experience? Is experience more valuable than potential? Which player has the better set of abs?
I can almost guarantee that, prior to reading it, that was the very last question you had about that transaction. But now that I've read the latest analysis from the Kickette blog, it's the one that's going to be in my head for the rest of the day.
Drink him in, ladies and gentlemen. The Red Bulls may have just traded a promising striker, but in return they got one of Major League Soccer's sex symbols.
Photo Courtesy of Victor Decolongon/Getty Images
This week, Red Bulls defender on the turntables, Fox Soccer anchors working far too hard, and LA's trip to the White House see's some familiar faces pop up.
Red Bulls defender Solli has kept his love for music no secret in the past. Listen to his new mix, it's very, very good. Can we get #SolliFistPump trending?!
Some smooth and powerful tracks in my latest promo. Good Energy!! ;) May Promo Mix By Solli http://soundcloud.com/jan-gunnar-solli/may-promo-mix-by-solli on #SoundCloud
— Jan Gunnar Solli (@JanGunnarSolli) May 10, 2012
After helping D.C. to a shutout win over Colorado, Hamid was pumped to see some NHL stars waiting for him in the locker room. Scratch that, Bill was super pumped!
Too sick!! The Washington capitals players in our lockerroom after the game.. #MadRespect
— Bill Hamid (@BillHamid28) May 16, 2012
So Heath Pearce obviously knew a trade to the New York Red Bulls was on the cards. But he suffered from something we can only describe as premature tweeting, as he announced his official move from Chivas USA.... more than 3 hours before it actually became official.
Heath Pearce has officially been traded to the new York red bulls. Thanks Chivas fans for your love during my time here...
— Heath Pearce (@HeathGPearce) May 17, 2012
The guys at Fox Soccer have been working hard lately, what with the climax to the EPL season and the Champions League Final just around the corner. Anchor Rob Stone claims they've been in overdrive....the pic suggests otherwise!
Nobody, and I mean nobody works harder on the road then @Wynalda11 and myself. Nobody. http://pic.twitter.com/WQzlO9PG
— Rob Stone(@RobStoneONFOX) May 17, 2012
Galaxy striker Chad Barrett enjoyed his trip to the White House to meet President Obama. He also enjoyed meeting this guy, well, sort of.
The Legend and I http://pic.twitter.com/qNAdeGJy
— Chad Barrett(@CBarrett19) May 15, 2012
If you see a soccer tweet that should be included in our top five, be sure to send it to the @MLS_Insider!
So MSNBC host Chuck Todd may not be the biggest fan of MLS, or soccer in general. But is that really a reason to make snide comments about the LA Galaxy’s trip to see President Obama at the White House to be congratulated for their 2011 MLS Cup triumph on Tuesday?
As Todd read out the President’s daily schedule during The Daily Rundown, he quipped in a slightly bemused tone:
“As you can see, he… welcomes the Major League Soccer champions? All you LA Galaxy fans out there– does this mean Beckham shows up? I’m not sure. Is he really a member of the Galaxy or not?”
Todd went on to say, “No more soccer references. I promise.”
Fernando Fiore, host of the most popular sports show on Univisión (República Deportiva), took Todd’s comments to heart and reached out to Twitter to air his distain at the comments.
@chucktodd @dailyrundown If you do NOT know anything about SOCCER, @LAGalaxy and David Beckham, investigate and THEN make a comment.Gracias
— Fernando Fiore (@FernandoFiore) May 15, 2012
Fiore also tweeted in Spanish , “I am watching MSNBC and the commentary from a Mr. Chuck Todd over the LA Galaxy White House visit is deprecating. Why? Ignorance.”
You be the judge regarding Todd’s comments. For now it seems the beef is brewing between Mr. Todd and Señor Fiore.
Stay tuned, this could get meaty.
(Video courtesy of Mediaite.com)
Dan Gargan usually paints to find an escape from his day job, but the Chicago Fire defender mixed his two passions in a piece he painted for Wednesday’s “Art of Futbol” Gallery showing in Chicago, which takes place on Wednesday and benefits the Chicago Fire Foundation.
Gargan’s piece is called “The Beautiful Game,” and is an abstract vision of what Gargan believes soccer embodies.
“It’s pretty simple,” Gargan told MLSsoccer.com. “It’s got a bunch of flowers in it. When I think of the game, there’s just a bunch of different ways you can express yourself through the game.
"I feel like no one person’s expression or interpretation of the game is the same, and that’s reminiscent of how flowers are. They’re all unique, and they’re all beautiful in their own way.”
Gargan has loved painting since he was a kid, and he minored in studio art at Georgetown University.
Most of his painting nowadays comes in the offseason. His paintings usually end up somewhere in his apartment or in a family member’s home, but a few players around MLS have asked him to paint for them.
This offseason, Colorado forward Conor Casey, Gargan’s former teammate, gave him a wall in his home to use as his canvas.
“He’s always been a big fan of my art,” Gargan said. “He gave me a wall and said, ‘Go for it.’”
Gargan is working on a web site to promote his art work, which he said should be up in the next few weeks.
The Fire defender is hoping people will be interested in his work, and is excited about Wednesday’s showing, which takes place from 7 to 9 pm CT at Society Art Gallery in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood.
But he’s perfectly fine if painting remains just a hobby.
“What I’m getting out of it right now is exactly what I’m looking for,” Gargan said. “That’s the ability to step away from soccer and just have fun with it. It gives me a lot of joy and a lot of happiness to me and my friends and my family. If it was to get bigger, or people were interested in it, that’s great. But it’s more of just an outlet for me.”
Branden Steineckert plays drums for Rancid. That, by definition, rocks. That he is an avid soccer fan and a passionate Real Salt Lake supporter rocks even harder.
But the fact that he's such a geniune, cool, down-to-earth guy who wants to encourage people to express themselves, that's punk.
I met Branden when I was in Salt Lake City a few months ago. He was sitting in the back of a town-hall meeting between the supporter groups and RSL brass. At some point, the supporters brought up their dislike of the song played at Rio Tinto Stadium whenever the home side scores. "It's lame," one person said.
Naturally, everyone in the room eventually turned to the guy in the back who tours the world as a musician.
Steineckert didn't hesitate to give his opinion. But he didn't opine on the music. He didn't say the current goal song was bad or that another song would be better. No, instead, he challenged his fellow RSL supporters.
"Let's come up with something of our own," he said.
It was only a matter of time before someone came up with this.
Adidas have come out with a new soccer shoe that actually helps players with specific facets of their game. And that's not just promo copy.
In Kick TV's latest Gear Show, they showcase the new Predator LZs that have a cushion to help with passing and grips on the outside of the boot that enhance dribbling and control.
Find out why the hosts call it a "radically different predator" than any that adidas has produced. And they're not just referring to the colors.
You need to see it to believe it. Check it out below.
This week, US internationals pose all over Europe for photos, a soccer journalist examines a bizzarre photo of Arshavin, and Charlie Davies takes FIFA 12 to a whole new level.
US International Kljestan won his first trophy, as Anderlecht clinched the Belgian League title. This photo is very, well, euro. We like it. Congrats Sacha.
Finally… Champions… What a feeling. http://twitpic.com/9iujc4
— Sacha Kljestan (@SachaKljestan) May 8, 2012
Former D.C. United striker Davies is back in France with Sochaux. He is causing all kinds of damage with his brother, over a video game.
This is what happens when my brother @jbdavies16 and I wrestle because I was whooping him in FIFA lol http://instagr.am/p/KXzOLPBWvp/
— Charlie Davies (@CharlieDavies9) May 8, 2012
Soccer journalist and presenter of the Best Soccer show, Davis gave three alternatives for photo captions which should have been used in this photo of Arshavin celebrating. Hilarious!
1. He might enjoying this too much. 2. It's like if you touch Arshavin, you get a wish. 3. The guy on the left. http://ow.ly/aKELV
— Jason Davis (@davisjsn) May 7, 2012
Gooch is looking suave in this magazine shoot for the latest edition of Men's Health in Portugal. Usually that kind of glance strikes fear into the opposition, but don't worry he's not angry, the US center back is in the zone for his close-up.
Everyone in Portugal... Don't forget to get this months edition of Men's Health Magazine.... Bless! http://pic.twitter.com/AwGByYR6
— Oguchi Onyewu(@OguchiOnyewu5) May 7, 2012
Martino is a thoughtful husband and a wonderful color commentator on NBC Sports Network. (P.S. check out his Twitter avatar, was this the result of his shaving mishap?!)
Not trying to wake your wife up at 530 am by shaving in the dark leaves some unintentional facial hair statements.
— Kyle Martino(@kylemartino) May 8, 2012
If you see a soccer tweet that should be included in our top five, be sure to send it to the @MLS_Insider!