It's been an emotional day for all of MLS and US soccer, but doubtless nobody's gone through the wringer quite as thoroughly as Robbie Rogers.
Here's his 13-word response:
Thank you everyone for all of the support and love. Wasn't expecting this.
— Robbie Rogers (@robbierogers) February 16, 2013
But from where I sit, the best part of today is that the next guy (or gal) to debate whether or not to come out can expect "this." It's a more tolerant and loving world than we all thought it was nine hours ago.
Slick editing? Subtitles for those of us who can't parle français? Unparallelled behind-the-scenes access during MLS preseason? It's all here.
There's been some good content coming out of Montreal recently, and the most recent contribution from our neighbors in Quebec is a featurette called "Derrière chaque joueur," or Behind every player.
It look like there will be more of the same coming from Florida, where the Impact are competing in the Disney Pro Classic, so there should be more where this came from. Check it out and share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Sporting KC have been on the forefront of MLS 2.0 since their rebranding, so people tend to pay attention when they unveil their latest marketing initiative.
With the MLS regular season just 19 days away – Sporting and Philadelphia will be the first clubs to kick a ball with points on the line on March 2 at PPL Park – fans in Kansas City are already feeling the hype ahead of yet another season with high expectations.
Check out the commercial above, which ran during the Grammy Awards in the hope of capturing an audience outside the club's core fanbase, and let us know what you think in the comment section below.
If we're to believe the images leaked on TodoSobreCamisetas.com, this is what the USMNT's Centennial jersey will look like in 2013.
The primary feature? It has to be the old-school badge, which replaces the US Soccer Federation logo on today's jerseys.
Do you like this retro jersey better than the sash look? Think they should go with old-fashioned number design on the back? Want to see this crest become the new USSF logo?
Share your thoughts below.
Gus Johnson has some work to do. Five-and-a-half years worth, to be exact.
On Tuesday, Sports illustrated's sports media maven Richard Deitsch let us in on Fox Sports' plans to put an American voice, and a distinctive one at that, on center stage during the 2018 World Cup in Russia. That would be Johnson, known for his high-energy play-by-play coverage in college basketball, who surprised many by branching into soccer last year – check out the clip of some of his calls as a radio broadcaster for the San Jose Earthquakes above as well as his interview with ExtraTime Radio (scroll down to the May 2, 2012 episode).
Of course, Johnson won't get thrown in the deep end come 2018. Fox is dedicated to building him up from water wings to the equivalent of play-by-play free diving through their other soccer properties, most notably Champions League broadcasts. Along those lines, Johnson will make his prime-time debut on Feb. 13 when Real Madrid faces Manchester United in Round of 16 action, and augment his CL duties with English Premier League MC honors as well as stints in the booth for the Champions League and FA Cup finals.
Now, Johnson isn't exactly a universal taste in the sports world, mostly because of his sugar-high style of bombastic broadcasting. He also has a very limited background with the Beautiful Game, admitting he's a soccer "novice" in the grand scheme of things.
To his credit, Johnson has closed-door run-throughs under his belt in addition to Quakes duty, but the Champions League knockout stage isn't exactly a low-profile way to kick things off for a novice, especially with a pair of internationally relevant Cup finals on the docket. You can bet the American soccer Twitterati and blogosphere are going to be looking for chinks in his soccer armor from the minute he opens his mouth.
Deadspin already gave their take here, and – to no one's surprise – it wasn't entirely positive and posed the following question: What will Johnson do without a bevy of opportunities to exhibit his trademark excitability? It's a valid point.
Meanwhile, I'm a bit torn.
On one hand, I'd love for American soccer fans to once again have an American voice to narrate the world's biggest sporting event. On the other, Johnson is going to have to remake himself in the booth, a move that could turn out smelling like roses or, just as easily, reek like a crowded subway car in the midst of an oppressive NYC summer. More likely, Fox's experiment is going to fall somewhere in between, and that makes me wonder what the decision to groom Johnson says about the network's opinion of the current crop of American soccer broadcasters.
Apparently, they're not good enough to develop into national voices in five-plus years, although I don't subscribe to that belief. More likely, they're simply not flashy enough and have yet to break through into the American sporting consciousness. Or they're already contracted to a competitor.
All of which is fine. I get what Fox is trying to do. But, like everyone else, I have no idea how the network's gambit will turn out.
What I do know is that I'll follow the building crescendo from Feb. 13 until the summer of 2018. If nothing else, Johnson's unique style won't let us tear our eyes and ears away from the action. Whether that's a good thing remains to be seen.
When Jay DeMerit fell to the Vancouver Whitecaps ahead of their inaugural MLS season, most figured they'd landed the linchpin of their team for years to come.
Nobody could have guessed how quickly or fully DeMerit would embrace life in British Columbia, though. So much so that he's all settled down in the northern-most reaches of Cascadia. Literally.
He put a ring on a local celebrity (Canadian Olympic Ski Cross Gold Medalist Ashleigh McIvor) and has no trouble rattling off 'hoods (he lives in Gastown) like he's been posted up in Vancouver for years.
“The thing I love about this city is that it can really grip you in a lot of different ways,” DeMerit told WhitecapsFC.com.
“I met my fiancée here and I’ve been able to take my life to the next level,” added the World Cup veteran. “That’s what we all want in our lives and our careers, and this city has allowed me to do that on both ends.”
Bravo, Jay. Looks like you're doing just fine.
Once again, SF's shed some light on a clip that's got viral written all over it, and I just can't resist sharing since Alex Morgan + Katy Perry = the Internet breaking.
What are you waiting for? Hit play and enjoy US soccer's biggest star doing her best KP impression.
Oh yeah, let us know what you think in the comment section below. Just keep it civilized.
If the trailer for American Football left you hungry for more, you're in luck.
Just in time to get Sounders fans revved up for their March 2nd season opener, Levy Films released a rough cut of their unfinished feature-length documentary on Seattle Sounders FC. The footage takes you even deeper into the world of Sigi Schmid and what it means to play on his team.
Even if the Sounders aren't your team, this video will leave you longing for the return of Major League Soccer, which is now only 26 days away. Enjoy!
WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE
While we were busy debating whether the Fire or Crew got the better end of a deal that sent Dilly Duka and the right of first refusal to Robbie Rogers to Chicago and Dominic Oduro, Rogers was finding out the news on his own.
No phone call. No nothing.
The former Leeds United winger took to Twitter Monday morning to express surprise that his MLS rights had changed hands.
Bizarre? Sure, but perhaps par for the course in the often wacky world of MLS swaps.
CORRECTION: D.C. United has not yet clinched Carolina Challenge Cup championship. I apologize for the confusion. #MLS
— Andrew Wiebe (@AndrewWiebe_MLS) March 3, 2012
North American soccer fans have heard it a thousand times from countless different voices, from FIFA boss Sepp Blatter on down: If you want to be a serious league on the world stage, move to a fall-spring schedule like everyone else (by which they actually mean Western Europe, of course).
This argument shrugs off a range of important factors behind MLS and other leagues’ choice of a spring-fall alignment, but perhaps the most important one is the simple fact that it can get awfully cold and snowy in places like Montreal, Chicago and New England every winter.
As it turns out, some people across the pond have taken note of this obvious fact, too, including one of the most powerful men in German soccer.
Namely Karl-Heinze Rummenigge, the chairman at Bayern Munich as well as the chair of the European Club Association, a lobbying group for more than 200 of Europe’s biggest clubs.
"Everywhere, be it Germany, France or England, summer is the best period of the year. And that is the season we don't play,'' Rummenigge told France Football magazine for its latest issue. "In deepest winter, when it is very cold and snowing, we play nearly all the time in conditions that are disagreeable for both players and spectators. It is not logical.
"My sense is that we are heading straight in this direction,” he added. “It's completely possible, even if this idea does not thrill our friends in South America.”
Laying out a future in which European leagues open in January and run until the fall, he predicted that the change would make for more pleasant conditions for both players and supporters and even help reduce the conflict between club and international soccer by leaving a month-long window for national-team play.
"In future, there could be two phases: one for club competitions, the other for qualifying matches or finals of the World Cup or the Euros,'' Rummenigge said. "For one month, national teams would be completely free to call up their players.''
That would also help resolve the looming problem caused by FIFA’s selection of Qatar as the host of the 2022 World Cup, allowing the desert nation to host the world’s biggest sporting event during the mild Middle Eastern winter.
Skeptical reactions from ECA and FIFA officials underlined the difficulties of making this sweeping change to the current status quo. But Stateside soccer folks can take heart from the news that Europe’s elite might actually be coming around to our way of doing things this time.
"It is clear that there will soon be negotiations to examine what can be done. My point of view is that an eventual change to the calendar shouldn't be viewed critically but more as an innovation that could improve the general context,'' Rummenigge said. "Changing the calendar carries risks but it is also an opportunity. The issue of the calendar will become more important the closer 2022 gets.''